California’s Wildfires and the New Normal

Understanding the deadliest fire in the state's history

” Since 1990 60% of new homes in California, Washington and Oregon have been built in spaces abutting nature, says Ray Rasker of Headwaters Economics, a research firm…

Although Californian state law requires people to manage flammable vegetation within 100 feet of their home in order to create a buffer, local officials often fail to enforce it and opt for relatively lax construction standards for new homes. “We know how to make our houses and buildings safer in an urban environment,” says Mr Rasker. “Somehow if you live in the woods, these things don’t apply.”