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In California, environmental groups are seeing increased success in state courts arguing that wildfire risk wasn’t fully considered in proposals to build homes in fire-prone areas. Experts told AP News reporters Michael Phillis and Suman Naishadham such litigation could continue to become more common, even with developers already considering wildfire risks, complying with strict fire codes, and adhering to state environmental policies.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta has backed a handful of the lawsuits, putting developers on notice.

“You can’t keep doing things the way we’ve been doing when the world is changing around us,” Bonta said in an interview, adding that he supports more housing. His office has, for example, questioned the increased fire risk of a 16,000-acre (6,475-hectare) project that includes a luxury resort and 385 residential lots in Lake County, roughly 130 miles (209 kilometers) north of San Francisco in an area that has already seen significant fire.

Bonta said his office is working on a policy that will help developers and local officials avoid future opposition from his office. It will provide guidance on evacuation routes, planning for population growth, and minimizing fire risk, he said.

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