EXPLAINER: Why it takes months to subdue some wildfires

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — At nearly every community meeting on firefighting efforts in the U.S. West, residents want to know why crews don’t simply put out the flames to save their homes and the valuable forests surrounding them. Wildfires managers say it’s not that simple, and the reasons are many, some of them decades in the making. The cumulative result has been an increase in gigantic wildfires with extreme and unpredictable behavior threatening communities that in some instances didn’t exist a few decades ago. Wildfire managers say putting out these fires, or labeling them “controlled,” will require cold weather combined with rain or snow. And for many states, that’s weeks away.

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