The wildfires that led to mass extinction. A warning from California's Ice Age history

In recent years, Californians have had to deal with some deadly and destructive wildfires. But in fact, this part of the western United States has been shaped by fire for millennia. And in this episode we hear about new research from California into a decades-old mystery about the extinction of large animals at the end of the Ice Age, which is providing some worrying lessons from history about the way humans, fire and ecosystems interact. 

Featuring Emily Lindsey, associate curator at La Brea Tar Pits and adjunct faculty at University of California, Los Angeles, and Stacy Morford, environment and climate editor at The Conversation in the US.

This episode was produced and written by Katie Flood Gemma Ware. The executive producer was Gemma Ware. Sound design was by Eloise Stevens and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. A transcript will be available soon. Sign up for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.

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