A new normal of extreme weather events means the models that dictated how we built and planned for fires, floods and droughts are outdated — and putting us at risk.

The U.S. Forest Service team that arrived in the Santa Fe National Forest on April 6 had a plan. They would set a small fire and burn away accumulated brush that might fuel a more destructive blaze. Such controlled burns are a key tool in minimizing the risk of raging wildfires, and the Forest Service reported success in 99.84% of its prescribed fires.