As this week’s devastating fires in California have shown, there are extreme dangers to building houses adjacent to forests whose ecological cycles include wildfire. As more and more homes are built in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) (California’s WUI zone grew 20 percent from 1990 to 2010), the risk of tragedy in communities across the west grows.
"Climate change contributes to the growing destruction from California wildfires. Hot, dry weather conditions that help carry fires for thousands of acres are often present nearly year-round now. The state’s urban sprawl and encroachment into formerly undeveloped land is the real catalyst, though, said former Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District chief Kurt Henke." - California wildfires start in the woods. Why do cities keep burning?
Bend is vulnerable to wildfire too
As development pressures grow in high-risk areas, we must consider every new development in the WUI carefully. Smart planning that takes wildfire risk into account will help avoid unnecessary loss of life and homes, risk to our health, and endangerment of firefighters. That is why we are on the front lines in defense of sensible land use planning.
Please consider helping our neighbors to the south: suggestions from The Source.