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Every year wildfires burn millions of acres of forests and brushlands. The fire that consumed the Oakland Hills area of northern California in October of 1991, considered to be the second-worst fire disaster in U.S. history, destroyed thousands of homes on hillsides overgrown with flammable native vegetation. Many of these homes were roofed with western red cedar shakes and shingles, a premium roof covering that offers good looks, excellent thermal insulation, durability, and wind and hail resistance. Unfortunately, cedar roofing is often criticized for its potential flammability in connection with massive wildland fires. In fact, fire officials and the press have tried to place blame squarely on the shoulders of cedar roofing, claiming that wood roofing contributes significantly to the spread