What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• Ben Christopher reports that in the wake of the devastating Camp Fire, California is working to mitigate the damage and loss of future fires through a variety of methods.
• How can equity and inclusion play a role in conversations about creating a safer California?
• Learn more about the perfect storm of conditions for wildfires in California.
As California grapples with an increasing possibility that the once-in-a-century wildfires that have torched Paradise and Malibu are becoming once-a-year occurrences, larger swaths of the state’s population may find themselves living in the crimson regions of those maps. Which presents lawmakers with a dilemma: impose costly and politically unpalatable regulations on homeowners and rip up existing infrastructure—or simply accept the risk.
“We’ve got to take intelligent precautions in how we design our cities,” Gov. Jerry Brown said at a press conference with U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke last week. “The zoning and the planning has to take into account the threat of fires, the building of appropriate shelters, so that people can always find a way to escape, and then of course, all the things we’re doing to mitigate climate change. All of it. It’s a big agenda. But what we’re paying this week is a very small fraction of what is needed over the years and decades.”
With wildfires growing ever more ferocious—a product of a changing climate, forests increasingly packed with dead and dry kindling, and the encroachment of development into state’s wilderness—it can be hard to tell which parts of California should be considered safe anymore. Coffey Park, the suburban subdivision of Santa Rosa that burned in last year’s firestorms, was designated a low fire risk area by Cal Fire.
The agency is now in the process of updating its hazard maps, with an expected draft publication date of next summer.
For state Sen. Mike McGuire, whose district includes Santa Rosa, this year’s fires raise a number of “difficult yet necessary” questions about where and how communities are placed—and then replaced.
Read the full article about perparing for future California wildfires by Julie Cart, Dan Morain, and Ben Christopher at CALmatters.