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Wildfires, not Armageddon ...

June 9, 2008 | 11:40 am


If you're reading this, then the world did not end on May 19, 1780. Easy enough to say now, but when the sky was dark at noon, night birds came out to sing, and animals acted kind of squirrelly; New Englanders thought the End of Times was at hand.

University of Missouri researchers offer an explanation: massive wildfires. Tree rings in the Algonquin Highlands of southern Ontario tell the tale, they say. Their work is in the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

-- Geoffrey Mohan

Photo: Corral Canyon fire, January 2008. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times