November 12, 2018

BUILD 'EM WHERE THEY AIN'T:

More than 1 million homes planned for high-risk fire areas in California. Should they be built? (RYAN LILLIS AND KEN CARLSON, September 10, 2018, Sacramento Bee)

Not long after she bought her home in the grassy hills of western Stanislaus County, Julie Davis watched as a helicopter filled buckets of water from a nearby pond and attacked a windswept wildfire burning just outside her community.

The Diablo Grande resort area, where developers envision building hundreds of homes around two upscale golf courses about eight miles west of Patterson and Interstate 5, was spared. But Davis' neighbors remain watchful. "If anyone sees smoke, almost immediately residents are notified through a social media page," she said.

Diablo Grande is one of several growing communities in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills facing a severe risk of wildfire. More than 380,000 people between Redding and Bakersfield live in areas that state and local officials have identified as high or very high wildfire hazard zones, according to a McClatchy analysis of state and local emergency preparedness plans. Tens of thousands more in the Bay Area and Southern California also live in high risk areas.

The population under threat is rapidly growing. As many as 1.2 million new homes will be constructed "in the highest wildfire risk areas" of California between 2000 and 2050, according to a 2014 research report by environmental scientists from around the state and country.

It's fine to build them provided that banks and insurance companies charge them for the risk and they are ineligible for disaster aid.

Posted by at November 12, 2018 7:28 PM

  

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