Fires occur every two to 10 years in parts of the Appalachian Mountains, according to research by Charles Lafon, a Texas A&M associate geography professor. Lafon, his students and collaborators studied tree rings in the southern and central parts of the mountains to determine how often they went ablaze. "We found one tree that has had at least 14 fires, and we found many other trees that had endured multiple fires," he said. Fires decreased in the area after the 1930s, about the same time the government ramped up its efforts to stop forest fires, the research found.
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