The Aftermath of California’s Wildfires

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The Aftermath of California’s Wildfires

Avery Ward, Contributor

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Many cities were destroyed due to the fire that spread across California. The Woolsey Fire destroyed many national parks and most of  beautiful wildlife of Southern California. The fire burned 400 homes last year, and Malibu falls in very high hazard zones.

In total, more than 2.7 million of California’s residents live in very high fire hazard severity zones, according to the analysis, which is based on 2010 block-level census data (MSN). The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection claims its maps show places where wildfires are likely to be severe due to factors like vegetation and topography.

The maps are not precise in their ability to forecast where a fire will be most severe. For example, the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa is not in a very high hazard zone, but forceful winds pushed the Tubbs Fire into that part of the city, largely leveling out the neighborhood in October 2017. Coffey Park was built “with zero consideration for fire,” said Chris Dicus, a forestry and fire expert at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “Fire was in the mountains — there was no consideration that fire would cross (Highway) 101.” (MSN)

Cal Fire is making new fire hazard maps, that will be ready in a year or so, which will combine important information like regional wind patterns and many other climate factors. In the meantime, officials claim the current maps, created about a decade ago, still brings a significant guide to predict where wildfires could do the most damage, in the same way floodplain maps highlight areas that could be hit hardest during severe storms (MSN).

The threatened communities, identified by McClatchy, should also be a starting point for arranging how California should spend money on retrofits and other fire-safety programs, Moritz said (MSN).

California’s state-of-the-art building codes help protect homes from wildfire in the most vulnerable areas, experts say (MSN). However, the codes only apply to new construction. A bill introduced by Assemblyman Jim Wood would provide cash to help Californians retrofit older homes (MSN).

“This will go a long way toward these different municipalities in showing that they deserve funding,” said Moritz (MSN). McClatchy pinpointed more than 75 towns and cities with populations over 1,000 where at least 90 percent of residents live within the California fire, said to be “very high fire hazard severity zones.”

An example of a place with a high fire hazard severity zone is Kings Beach. Kings Beach is located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe and is the most heavily-visited vacation spots in Northern California. Erin Holland, a spokeswoman for the North Tahoe Fire Protection District, says that because so many tourists come there, it becomes harder to get people to treat wildfire risk with the respect it deserves.

Holland said getting the region’s property owners and visitors to observe “defensible space” regulations is particularly difficult (MSN). Those rules include clearing brush 100 feet around buildings and calling for harsher rules about vegetation immediately adjacent to structures. “The goal is to really educate people, to get people complying,” Holland said. “We go the education route rather than the citation route” (MSN).

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/california-races-to-deter-disaster-as-towns-face-fire-risk/ar-BBVPSch

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Avery Ward, Contributor

My name is Avery Ward and I am a freshman.  Here's a few things I like to do. Firstly, I love to play volleyball! I have been playing on the court for...

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