SUMMIT COUNTY — The men stomp through the snow, snaking torches into stacks of timber and sparking flames.
Soon, thin wisps of smoke turn dense and dark as orange flames lick the 10-foot tall piles of dead trees. Dozens of bonfires begin melting growing rings of snow, sending smoke high above Summit County last week.
The Forest Service has planned this slash-pile inferno for years, part of its expansive plan to rid the woods of the invasive pine beetle. Since 1996, the ravaging beetle has killed…
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