Sunday, August 31, 2014

Living in a fire prone area

I originally published this in 2008 a few months after we had just gone through another horrible fire season.  The 2007 fire season was the second worst for the San Diego area.

I live in the eastern part of the city of San Diego, California. I don't live in the backcountry, but as you know, it doesn't really matter when it comes to wildfires around here. There have been major fires only a mile or two from me. Over 20 years ago, we lost over 40 homes in a neighborhood right here in the middle of an urban area only a couple miles from my home. 

Where I live, it's very urban, but we have small canyons all over the place. Sometimes, homeless people will camp in them and start fires. In the case of the 40 homes that burned, I believe it was either a backfire of a car or a cigarette thrown from a roadway at the bottom of a brushy hill that moved quickly up to the homes. Human activity is often the instigator of a lot of wildfires. So, fires are a big threat in the city as well as in outlying areas.
There is the same kind of brushy hill that burned in that fire not even a half mile from my home. But, people have been better at clearing their brush then they did back then. They will get fined if they don't and they can only have certain types of plants in certain areas of their landscaping. Where I work, there is a large, natural, urban park that is often prone to fires. I work next door to a fire station and when they head towards that park, I know it's because of a brush fire. The area had a lot of shake shingle roof homes there that have been converted to more fire-resistant material. But, there are still a few buildings here and there that have the old type of roof on them.
I feel sorry for people in the backcountry areas whose homes and businesses are often worth over a million dollars easy. Sometimes it seems that clearing brush doesn't work when the fire gets big enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment