“On a cool February morning, around 60 people gathered in the Sierra Nevada foothills to take part in a ceremony that, for many decades, was banned.
Men and women from Native American tribes in Northern California stood in a circle, alongside university students and locals from around the town of Mariposa. Several wore bright yellow shirts made of flame-resistant fabric. For the next two days, the group would be carefully lighting fires in the surrounding hills.
Also sprinkled throughout the crowd were officials from the state government, which a century ago had largely prohibited California's tribes from continuing their ancient practice of controlled burns.”