Not Built Will Not Burn


In a setting where wildfires are a common occurrence, the structure most resistant to burning is the one that’s not built there in the first place. So, the first alert is, “Don’t build in a wildfire zone.”

Wildfire zones are not hidden as if secrets. Scouting for a homesite in such a place will require tramping over the obvious, ashen remnants of previous fires, whether on a grassy plain, a brush covered thicket, or a forest. Scorch-colored ground, charred remnants of underbrush, and blackend tree bark, are obvious evidence of recent events. If such an event has happened in the past, it will also happen in the future. The height of arrogance is to believe that a new home in a fire zone will always be safe, that though other’s homes may burn, this one won’t. It is in a word foolish.

Not only is the burning of a home a bad thing, but the related endangerment to first responders is unforgivably irresponsible, resting squarely on the shoulders of those who put the house there so it could be burned.

It’s time to call for a change of cultural expectations and practices.


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