More Americans Living Next Door to Fire Danger
According to on article by Laura Bliss, "as we make more and more homes along the very fringes of metropolitan areas, the more we come into contact with natural habitats."
The U.S.D.A. Forest Service has a term for these fringe places: "wildland-urban interface." According to Bliss, "Putting aside conservation concerns, higher numbers in the 'wildland/urban interface' (or the “WUI,” as the U.S.D.A Forest Service calls it) means higher numbers of homes vulnerable to wildfire."
"As of 2010, 99 million people, or about one-third of all people in the United States, lived in the WUI," reports Bliss. And the map of the WUI [pdf] is expanding.
For more on the development patterns that exacerbated the fire season in California, the Los Angeles Times also published an interview by Patt Morrison of Char Miller, professor of environmental analysis at Pomona College.