Here's The Wall Street Journal on how developers, builders and buyers are tempting fate by building in places that routinely burn:
Along a scrubby mountain range on the northern rim of Los Angeles, a developer is planning to build a 188-unit luxury community in one of the state’s highest-risk wildfire zones.
In the hills of San Diego County, 150 miles to the south, builders are planning a project featuring more than 1,800 homes, 20,000 square feet of commercial space and a hotel on land scorched during one of the most destructive wildfire seasons in California’s history, in 2003.
In the 13 Western states where 70% of the nation’s wildfire activity occurs, the number of homes located in or near wilderness areas has grown by nearly 25% since 1990, to more than 14.3 million, according to an analysis by researchers at the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Wisconsin. The overall number of housing units in those 13 states expanded by 37% over the same period, though in fast-growing states such as Colorado, the housing expansion in wilderness-adjacent areas outpaced growth in the rest of the state.