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How Can Banana Plants Help Us Fight Wildfires?

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Banana trees could potentially help protect homes against fire. (HELENE VALENZUELA/AFP via Getty Images)
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It’s a law of the universe that journalists get crazy pitches whenever some sort of big news thing happens.

And it was last October, when the Silverado Fire was tearing through the bone-dry hills of Irvine, that I got a curious note from a reputable university. A professor, it said, had an idea to use a certain tropical fruit to help fight fires like the one we were watching on TV.

Bananas.

Which was basically my first thought when I read the email, but the idea, it turns out, could have some potential.

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