Fighting Mire With Fire

Spectacular flames rose from the freighter New Carissa after the U.S. Navy detonated explosives and napalm-spiked gasoline in its hull. The ship had run aground off the Oregon coast and storm-whipped waves had torn into it, threatening an environmental disaster if all 400,000 gallons of oil within leaked. The daring "controlled burn" was intended to consume 90% of the fuel in 24 hours. The maneuver seemed to work: the burning boat broke in two the next day, but only a fraction of the oil contaminated the beaches.


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