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A firefighter monitors a fire on Saturday near Port Macquarie in New South Wales. Australia's most populous state has been subject to a large outbreak of wildfires because of drought conditions. Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

A firefighter battles the Woolsey Fire burning a home in Malibu, Calif. in November. Fire scientists are finding that homes most frequently burn from flying embers after the initial blaze has passed through. Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP hide caption

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Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP

How Houses Themselves Become Fuel For Wildfires

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An aerial tanker drops fire retardant on a wildfire threatening homes near Yarnell, Ariz., on July 1. An elite crew of firefighters was overtaken by the out-of-control blaze on June 30, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields. Chris Carlson/AP hide caption

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Chris Carlson/AP