Crying 'Fire!' In A Crowded Landscape

Do Firewise initiatives ward off -- or help spark -- catastrophic wildfires?
March 8, 2004, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"I've never seen the sunrise so bright, ASLA's past president Dennis Otsuji recalls his wife saying. "It's bright orange to the east." The date was October 26, 2003, and what they were seeing was the glow of the Cedar Fire, 10 miles from their San Diego home of 18 years. One of seven wildfires that scorched 600,000 acres from Los Angeles to the Mexican border in a week, the Cedar Fire ultimately destroyed nearly 1,500 homes and killed 15 people... Wildcat Canyon is textbook 'Urban Wildland Interface,' the term firefighters use for areas where residences spread into rugged wooded landscapes... If a seasoned landscape architect, well versed in local conditions, can’t guarantee the safety of his home by following landscaping codes, how can those codes help homeowners with less expertise, or people who are in complete denial about the dangers of fire?"

Thanks to Jeffrey Lofton

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Published on Friday, March 5, 2004 in Landscape Architecture Magazine
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