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A farming tractor is left in the wake of the Mountian Fire after it scorched the area on July 18, 2013 near Idyllwild, California. The massive wildfire in Riverside county has grown to 23,000 acres and is advancing towards the mountain town of Idyllwild on one front and city of Palm Springs on the other front destroying several homs and forcing the evacuation of 6,000 people.
The mountain fires that raged for days above Palm Springs are nearly contained as of this morning, thanks to the arrival of wet weather. Thousands of residents who were forced to evacuate from Idyllwild and other resort towns are back in their homes, safe and sound.
But some fire ecology experts wonder if their lives ever had to be put at risk.
Richard Minnich, an ecologist at the University of California at Riverside, says smarter forest maintenance could have kept the fire in check.