Loose Regulations As People In Fire-Prone Areas Are Encouraged To Rebuild

Wildfire Season

The 2017 wildfire season in California was one for the record books. By the end of the year, about 10,000 buildings were demolished and more than one million acres of land were burned down.

Wildfires are a way of life in California and cannot be avoided. Some areas carry of a higher risk of catching fire than others. As the fires constantly burn through California, they take properties and lives with them.

After experiencing the worst wildfire season on record, you would think that California would be really careful about zoning laws, fire safety and whether or not people should build on lands that are high risk. Unfortunately, the state and local governments are not as concerned as they should be.

Due to a general housing shortage, a population of displaced people and a good economy, local governments are giving out permits to rebuild homes without updating building codes. These local governments are even letting people bypass certain zoning laws so that larger homes are allowed to be built.

Politicians have proposed to keep insurance premiums from going up for people who live in fire-prone areas. This would encourage residents to stay in their areas, and to not have to bear the burden of additional costs.

Many people are opposed to such insurance policies because they feel that if insurance premiums are not raised for people who live in homes near fire-prone forest lands, people who live in safer areas will have to shoulder the costs. A lot of people consider this to be unfair. Their mindset is that if some individuals choose to live in areas that they know will go up in flames, taxpayers should not be forced to compensate for the irresponsible decisions of individuals who knew what they were getting themselves into.

Some experts say that the reason why it is alarmingly easy to acquire building permits in California's fire-prone zones is because there are not-so-wholesome monetary incentives. The existence of new homes provides funding for local governments. Decades ago, towns made much of their revenue by extracting resources such as lumber, various minerals, gas and oil.

Nowadays, with the high demand of housing California, real estate and the building of homes are hot industries. Even though California is known for its wildfires, people will rebuild, anyway. There will always be people who are willing to buy homes in fire-prone zones. Some argue that it is not right to provide incentives for people to buy and live in these areas, since precious resources are being funneled into saving homes that shouldn't have been built in the first place.