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California fires lead to reflection on policy

The California wildfires have led researchers and policy makers to reflect on why these fires have continued to pose such a risk and whether or not there is a solution.

The New York Times
reported that one researcher compared California wildfires with Baja California in Mexico. Baja's wildfires are smaller and burn out on their own, causing less damage. Researchers think this is because of California's policy of fire suppression. Years of suppressing fires means that when a big one comes along it has a huge amount of fuel and no recently burned land to stop it.

According to the Washington Post, some homeowners experienced much less damage than others because their houses and landscaping followed strict guidelines. Five communities were built with those guidelines in mind and most of the buildings survived the fires.

The New York Times and Washington Post stories were very similar. The Washington Post spent a little more time on the communities with the special building ordinances. The New York Times framed the situation as kind of hopeless. They talked about the communities but that was after saying that their really was no viable solution to the fire problem.