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An aerial view shows burned-out homes in Ventura County following the Thomas fire.
An aerial view shows burned-out homes in Ventura County following the Thomas fire. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A new task force of scientists and forestry experts will “review thoroughly the way our forests are managed and suggest ways to reduce the threat of devastating fires,” Gov. Jerry Brown announced in his State of the State speech Thursday. 

Brown cited California’s growing severity of wildfires — eight of the state’s most destructive have occurred in the last five years — and the effects of climate change as driving the need to develop new forestry policies.

The governor said the task force also will examine how the state can increase resiliency and carbon storage capacity in forests.

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Our world. Our way of life. Our system of governance. All are at immediate and enormous risk.

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California was built on dreams and perseverance. And the bolder path is still our way forward.

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We can’t fight nature. We have to learn how to get along with her.