The Oakland Hills Fire may have started on the ground, but the Eucalyptus trees surrounding people’s homes in the Oakland-Berkeley Hills helped it burn more and spread even further. The highly flammable non-native species accounted for 70 percent of the energy released through combustion of vegetation during the fire, according to the National Park Service. Twenty years after the fire, Eucalyptus trees still surround many homes and live in many of Oakland’s parks, while residents debate whether they should be saved or removed as fire hazards.

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