WASHINGTON—Designating the area a protected space where the blazes could thrive in their natural habitat, the Department of Interior announced Wednesday that it had set aside 50,000 acres of federal land as a National Wildfire Refuge. “This reserve will act as a sanctuary for our country’s precious wildfires and help safeguard them for generations to come,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who authorized the sectioning off of a large swath of dry grassland and coniferous forest in Southern California that was deemed an ideal location for wildfires to thrive. “Now these magnificent infernos can roam freely without the threat of interference or extinguishment from humans. While we cannot bring back the many wildfires that have already been recklessly doused in water or chemical foam, we can offer a safe haven to those that remain and a chance to flourish once again.” At press time, the wildfire population was rapidly rebounding, and the Interior Department was hastily expanding the refuge by an additional 25,000 acres.
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