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The ring of fire

U.S. Fish and Wildlife range technician Adam Mathwig uses a drip torch to set fire to some dry vegetation Monday at a federal waterfowl protection area west of Spicer. Fifteen employees from the agency's Litchfield office worked -- either in burn crews or controlling traffic -- on the controlled burn of 94 acres. Before the area was inhabited, fires would naturally occur about every seven years, said Kris Larson, fire management officer. Monday's burn was intended to simulate that impact. Tribune photo b...