Not Putting Out The Fire With Land Use Planning

<p>As fires devastate Southern California and cause the evacuation of more than half million people, Bill Fulton laments how land use planning has largely been ignored as a fire risk reduction method.</p>
October 24, 2007, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Southern California is in flames again – it's gotten to the point where I can't even remember which fire the soot on my car is coming from – and makes me wonder once again why we've given up on land use planning as a way to reduce fire risk in such a fire-prone region."

"As I write this, the current conflagration has cost more than 1,000 homes and forced the evacuation of more than a half-million people. Will Californians come out of this catastrophic event thinking that we need to use land use planning to avoid fire-prone areas?"

"I doubt it, no matter how much devastation we see on television, because over the past few years we've moved in the opposite direction on fires. We're not trying to avoid hazardous areas. We're trying to fireproof ourselves instead."

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Published on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 in California Planning & Development Report
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