5/23/2018
This is the seventh installment from our new commentary paper entitled, “Learning from the 2017 Disasters to Create a Reliably Resilient U.S.” The full commentary will be shared on June 1 to mark the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season.

In 2017, there were nearly 9,000 wildfires in California, burning 1.2 million acres of land, killing at least 46 people, and destroying more than 10,800 structures.[i]

The stories of those that survived and perished are horrific.[ii] One couple survived in a swimming pool surrounded by flames.[iii] The stories of evacuations, smoke-filled roads, and no cell phone service all paint a picture of a disaster that we never want to see again.

Let’s begin our examination by looking at how these kinds of wildfires start.

We knew that wildfires develop and spread in the wildland urban interface (WUI). Weather conditions combined with development in WUIs (housing and vegetation intermix or are in close proximity of each other) have led to many recent wildfires.[iv] The blend of houses and forest on the fringe of metropolitan areas is common, and the Southern Appalachian region is one area of heaviest concentration in the WUI.[v] Consider these WUI basics:

 
  • More than 46 million homes in 70,000 U.S. communities are at risk of WUI fires. [vi]
  • Since the 1960s, U.S. residents in the WUI has increased from 25 million to 140 million.[vii]
  • From 1940 to 2000, the number of housing units within half a mile of a national forest grew to 1.8 million from 484,000.[viii]
  • Sixty percent of houses built between 1990 and 2000 are in wildfire-prone areas.[ix]
  • A 2002 FEMA report found that 38% of new home construction in the western U.S. was next to or intermixed with WUI areas.[x]
  • Annually, an average of 3,000 structures in the U.S. are destroyed by WUI fires.[xi]
  • Since 2000, more than 38,000 homes in the U.S. have been destroyed by WUI fires.[xii]
  • The total cost of WUI fires in 2009 was estimated to exceed $14 billion.[xiii]
  • In 2013, suppression costs alone were estimated to exceed $4.5 billion.[xiv]
We knew how to protect homes against wildfires.
Since 2008, California has required that new construction in moderate, high, and very high hazard areas comply with regulations in Chapter 7A of California’s building code, [xv] including a brush clearance zone within 100 feet of their property; non-combustible materials for roofs, wall sidings, and eaves; attic vents to stop embers from entering houses; and double-pane, tempered glass windows. [xvi]

Note that areas designated local responsibility, primarily cities and urban counties, are outside of the state requirements discussed here.[xvii]

However, these state requirements only apply to new construction, not existing construction. The Los Angeles Times noted that retrofitting ordinances for existing homes have been enacted for other hazards, like earthquakes, but “there has been no push so far, either at the state or local level, to require existing houses in fire zones to be upgraded.” [xviii]

The time has come to address existing construction as well.

Some assert that making wildfire-protected communities would be more effective than controlling flammable growth in the wild land, as is current practice. [xix] Communities, neighborhoods, and individual homeowners can greatly reduce the risk of wildfire spread through landscaping and construction choices guided by reducing ignition sources.

In the past, some have asserted that the obstacle to mandatory retrofitting programs is the difficulty of quantifying the cost and benefit of such measures.[xx] We think 2017 has the potential to change that calculus.

The insurance industry can also provide incentives for wildfire-resistant construction through insurability restrictions and actuarially-sound premium discounts, [xxi] although for a neighborhood to have optimal protection, the entire neighborhood should be built with fire in mind. If you have prepared your home, but your immediate neighbor has not and the fire spreads to their house, the fire may still spread to yours. Keeping fire away from the entire development gives each home the best chance for survival.

Also, why not expand the definition of fire hazard areas in California? The Los Angeles Timesanalysis of California’s maps for the highest-risk fire areas in Southern California revealed about 550,000 residences covered by the zones.[xxii] Adding areas with a lower, but still significant, fire risk would approximately double the number. [xxiii]

Modeling fire behavior is still in development, as wind and embers are difficult to map. [xxiv]Current WUI fire hazard maps algorithms account for vegetation, topography, and wind speed, but the Los Angeles Times analysis referenced above also found that using a different boundary would add about 450,000 Southern California housing units to the map. [xxv]

Clearly, there is a real opportunity for additional research into mapping wildfire hazards.

We knew that immediate evacuation during wildfires is a life or death decision. But are residents able to evacuate, especially those with disabilities, access, and functional needs? The high percent of older adults who perished in 2017 wildfires present an incontrovertible case for reexamination of our emergency practices, outreach, and education to this population.

We knew that California is known for wildfires, but what about the rest of the U.S.? While California has experienced many wildfires in its history, many other parts of the U.S. are vulnerable as well. According to NFPA’s Michele Steinberg, about 70 percent of the nation’s wildfires occur outside of the Western U.S.[xxvi] We saw this last year in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

We knew that wildfires make certain locations more susceptible to mudslides, with heavy rainfall on burned hillsides leading to mudslides (USGS notes that debris flows are sometimes referred to as mudslides, mudflows, among other terms, and that landslides are the larger category of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.)[xxvii] Land charred by fire and left without vegetation is more susceptible to flooding and debris flows, as burned soil can be as water repellent as pavement.[xxviii] And it may not take much rain to set off a mudslide, with .3 inches of rain in 30 minutes triggering mudslides in Southern California.[xxix]

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) warned of potentially devastating landslides in the wake of the Thomas wildfire in the mountainsides around Santa Barbara.[xxx] The mudslides in Montecito killed at least 21 people and destroyed more than a hundred homes.[xxxi] Several articles discuss the need for better mapping for landslides, including the points that maps either aren’t developed (or are exceptionally outdated) or that landslide hazard maps generally don’t show predicted run-out zones, rather just where landslides are likely to start. [xxxii]

Yet we cannot overlook the important work the USGS, other federal agencies, and the states are doing. The USGS Landslide Hazards Program creates hazard maps and forecasts and undertakes real-time monitoring of landslides across disasters, including USGS efforts in Puerto Rico mapping landslide frequency as a result of Hurricane Maria.[xxxiii] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center has created a global map of potential landslide areas taking into account annual precipitation rates.[xxxiv]Several states or regions have developed landslide inventories in maps or databases, largely the result of Stafford Act mandates.[xxxv]

Unfortunately, as with building codes, fears of hindering development have sometimes taken priority over making citizens safe from landslides. This was seen in North Carolina in 2004, when the legislatively approved program to map landslide hazards was canceled over concerns that the maps would adversely affect development.[xxxvi]

Updated national landslide maps are needed. A 2014 article cited that the last national landslide overview map was produced in 1982, long before computerized mapping tools became commonplace. The analysis suggests that the 1982 map is poorly defined and referred to as a “cartoon”, with officials warning the public not to zoom in too closely on the map lest they receive bad information. Also, there are multiple types of landslide maps (e.g., landslide-inventory, landslide hazard, landslide-risk, landslide-zone) for the U.S. to update/develop.[xxxvii]

One proposed piece of legislation, the National Landslide Loss Reduction Act (H.R. 4776H.R.1675) would establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program to identify landslide hazard risks along with other initiatives, directing the USGS to establish the first national landslide hazards inventory for the United States.[xxxviii]

Among other things, this legislation focuses on the lack of uniformity in landslide risk assessment and prediction practices in the U.S., including a collective landslide inventory for the U.S. or an agreed upon method of creating one.[xxxix]
Partnerships for Reducing Landslide Risk: Assessment of the National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy also identifies a national landslide inventory as “an important first step toward an appreciation of the true scope and distribution of landslide hazards,” with an accurate inventory providing “metrics for national policies and would greatly reduce the present uncertainty concerning the magnitude of economic loss and environmental damage caused by landslides.[xl]

The call for continued investments in mitigating landslide hazards across the U.S. seems clear. This is another issue that would benefit from transparency as homeowners need to know the risks they face when they build or buy their homes. Unfortunately, as Montecito showcased, we want to build in beautiful, albeit risk-prone, places. Mapping and accurately reflecting the hazards would help homeowners understand their potential risk as part of a buying decision as well as inform to mitigation options. California requires disclosure of specified natural hazards for certain types of real estate transfers, including whether the property is in a landslide zone (CAL CIV. §§1103).

Misfires in risk communication lead to confusion (at best) and fatalities (at worst), and this presents a strong case for continued research and resources to ensure the public is equipped with life-saving information that is available when they need it and in the form they will receive it.

How We Are Moving Forward
Existing, available wildfire preparedness resources from FEMA and Firewise provide individuals and families with useful tools to prepare themselves and their homes for wildfires. Firewise USA is a program of the National Fire Protection Association, co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters. Firewise focuses on a local approach to increase wildfire safety and encourages homeowners to take responsibility for preparation and mitigation. The program teaches ways to adapt and live with wildfire while encouraging neighbors to work together.

Firewise works. In 2007, our organization produced a video documenting successful performance of building and landscaping wildfire strategies entitled, Tale of Two Homes – Wildfire.[xli] The video showcases starkly different outcomes for families affected by the Witch Creek fires in San Diego County in October 2007. Santa Ana winds fueled the Witch Creek fires, and they burned nearly 200,000 acres and more than 1,000 homes.

Our video profiled affected homeowners in Rancho Bernardo. The first homeowner, R.J., lost his house when his combustible wooden deck ignited and fueled the inundation and destruction. He barely had time to evacuate his family and drove down a dark canyon road to escape. A local fire chief described the wooden deck and vegetation underneath as “organized kindling.”

The second homeowner, Helena, was the only one on the cul-de-sac of six homes whose house survived. It survived because she took steps before the disaster. She replaced her combustible wooden-shake roof with class A fire-resistive asphalt shingles, placed wire mesh around her deck to keep embers from getting underneath, and she planted fire-resistant landscaping with higher water content to reduce the ignitability of the plant material.

FLASH partners have used the wildfire video, and Tale of Two Homes video series, for years, and the stories and messaging help address several of the identified “biases.”

Showcasing Helena’s experience tackles the myopia bias by demonstrating the tangible benefits of her investments in Firewise practices. The video profile tackles the inertia bias by depicting her actions as achievable, even by a woman of 82. It also addresses the optimism bias by depicting everyday people “just like me” that were affected by the fires. This helps people see themselves inside the very real stories of R.J. and Helena.

The lessons learned in Witch Creek and other conflagrations have become policy. The California WUI building codes and local regulations prohibiting of the use of ignitable materials like wood-shake shingles are helping to mitigate wildfire damage to newer homes, but we must address existing homes as well. For starters, older homes should be retrofitted and required to incorporate defensible space recommendations, including up to a 100-foot protective area where feasible.

Additionally, 2017 makes reexamination, perhaps redefinition, of fire hazard zones a sound pursuit. Jurisdictions may need to expand fire hazard zones as discussed in the Los Angeles Times article that identifies 550,000 California homes in wildfire zones, but points out that they not alone.[xlii] Weather conditions in California and the west coast e.g., Santa Ana winds in Southern California/Diablo winds in Northern California, make wildfires a risk for more than historically expected.

Evacuation protocols must be reevaluated, communicated, and consistently reinforced so that people are aware and ready go to as the question of “where to go” often remains. This was same quandary for Floridians during Hurricane Irma when the massive hurricane covered the entire state and people weren’t sure if their home could handle such a powerful storm.

Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said that the public seemed more willing to follow mandatory evacuation orders after the Santa Rosa fires.[xliii] Certainly what has happened in California will contribute to overcoming an amnesia bias (distorted view of past events), as well as herding bias (imbalanced influence on behavior of peers) as neighbors evacuate.

Wildfire science is still exploring the best ways to control the spread of fire in the WUI and beyond. We think creating fire-protected neighborhoods is an achievable goal for every neighborhood prone to wildfires. Leaders and homeowners can come together to create safer communities.

Of all the hazards we work to mitigate, wildfire can be the most affordable as many of the protective measures are inexpensive or even free, especially those focused on landscaping or creating a protective zone without fuel sources around the home.

The first step is to ensure that homeowners understand the most fundamental part of the mitigation opportunity—to reduce or eliminate fuels. Fire needs three ingredients to occur—air, heat, and fuel. We cannot restrict air or heat, but we can reduce and/or eliminate fuels. That is why we promote wildfire mitigation with a simple statement, “No Fuel – No Fire.” We want to break through the clutter and help people understand that the only way to tackle wildfire is to tackle fuels whether they are building materials like roof shingles or living materials like vegetation or plant debris.

As California continues its long recovery from the fires and mudslides last year, we again return to the fundamental opportunities to break the cycle of “Build-Destroy-Rebuild.” We can reduce wildfire loss of life and property damage through building codes and local regulations for new construction methods and materials, as well as retrofitting and removing ignitable building components like decks, cladding, and roof coverings on existing homes. We can mount more effective risk communication practices regarding protective actions and evacuation and create updated wildfire zone maps that reflect the growing risk in and beyond the WUI.

Across all these solutions, we must prioritize service and support for those with access and functional needs, especially the elderly, to ensure survival for all members of our communities.

[i] Lauren Tierney. Jan. 4, 2018. “The grim scope of 2017’s California wildfire season is now clear. The danger’s not over.” The Washington Post.https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/california-wildfires-comparison/?utm_term=.b2c8448333b7
[ii] Marjie Lundstrom. Oct. 22, 2017. “’It’s just luck – kismet.’ Why some people lived and others died in California fires.” The Sacramento Bee. http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/fires/article180238591.html
[iii] Sean Breslin. Oct. 13, 2017. “Couple Survives Northern California Wildfires by Hiding in Pool.” The Weather Channel. https://weather.com/news/news/2017-10-13-santa-rosa-couple-survives-wildfire-hiding-in-swimming-pool-jan-john-pascoe
[iv] Priya Krishnakumar and Joe Fox. Oct. 13, 2017. Updated Dec. 5, 2017. “Why the 2017 fire season has been one of California’s worst.” Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-california-fire-seasons/
[v] Did Building Codes Contribute to Tennessee Wildfire Damage? http://www.firefighternation.com/articles/2016/12/did-building-codes-contribute-to-tennessee-wildfire-damage.html
[vi] Wildland and WUI Fire Research Planning Workshop Proceedings. July 14, 2015, Centennial Colorado. Prepared by: Casey C. Grant, P.E. Fire Protection Research Foundation. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/research-reports/proceedings/2015-proceedings/wildland-and-wui-fire-research-planning-workshopsection-page
[vii] Gregory Scruggs. Oct. 19, 2017. “Rampant land development will worsen U.S. wildfires – experts.” Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fires-development/rampant-land-development-will-worsen-u-s-wildfires-experts-idUSKBN1CO2LR
[viii] Gregory Scruggs. Oct. 19, 2017. “Rampant land development will worsen U.S. wildfires – experts.” Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fires-development/rampant-land-development-will-worsen-u-s-wildfires-experts-idUSKBN1CO2LR
[ix] Gregory Scruggs. Oct. 19, 2017. “Rampant land development will worsen U.S. wildfires – experts.” Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fires-development/rampant-land-development-will-worsen-u-s-wildfires-experts-idUSKBN1CO2LR
[x] Priya Krishnakumar and Joe Fox. Oct. 13, 2017. Updated Dec. 5, 2017. “Why the 2017 fire season has been one of California’s worst.” Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-california-fire-seasons/
[xi] Wildland and WUI Fire Research Planning Workshop Proceedings. July 14, 2015, Centennial Colorado. Prepared by: Casey C. Grant, P.E. Fire Protection Research Foundation. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/research-reports/proceedings/2015-proceedings/wildland-and-wui-fire-research-planning-workshopsection-page
[xii] Wildland and WUI Fire Research Planning Workshop Proceedings. July 14, 2015, Centennial Colorado. Prepared by: Casey C. Grant, P.E. Fire Protection Research Foundation. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/research-reports/proceedings/2015-proceedings/wildland-and-wui-fire-research-planning-workshopsection-page
[xiii] Wildland and WUI Fire Research Planning Workshop Proceedings. July 14, 2015, Centennial Colorado. Prepared by: Casey C. Grant, P.E. Fire Protection Research Foundation. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/research-reports/proceedings/2015-proceedings/wildland-and-wui-fire-research-planning-workshopsection-page
[xiv] Wildland and WUI Fire Research Planning Workshop Proceedings. July 14, 2015, Centennial Colorado. Prepared by: Casey C. Grant, P.E. Fire Protection Research Foundation. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/research-reports/proceedings/2015-proceedings/wildland-and-wui-fire-research-planning-workshopsection-page
[xv] Information re CA WUI Codes (in effect January 1, 2008) Cal Fire. Office of the State Fire Marshal. “Wildfire Protection”. http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/codedevelopment/wildfireprotection; California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Office of the State Fire Marshal. “Frequently Asked Questions About: Fire Hazard Severity Zoning and New Building Codes for California’s Wildland-Urban Interface.” http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/codedevelopment/pdf/Wildfire%20Protection/FHSZ%20and%20Calif%20New%20WUI%20Building%20Code%202007%20FAQ.pdf; California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Office of the State Fire Marshal. “Fact Sheet: Wildland-Urban Interface Building Codes.” http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/codedevelopment/pdf/Wildfire%20Protection/WUI%20Build%20Codes%202007%20fact%20sheet.pdf
[xvi] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xvii] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xviii] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xix] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xx] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xxi] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xxii] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xxiii] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xxiv] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xxv] Doug Smith and Nina Agrawal. “550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone.” The Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xxvi] Angelo Verzoni. Mar. 1, 2017. Not Ready for Prime Time. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/publications/nfpa-journal/2017/march-april-2017/news-and-analysis/dispatches
[xxvii] Lynn M. Highland, et al. Debris-Flow Hazards in the United States. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 176-97. https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-176-97/fs-176-97.pdf
[xxviii] Brian Lada. “How wildfires leave communities vulnerable to flooding, mudslides for years.” AccuWeather. https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/how-wildfires-leave-communities-vulnerable-to-flooding-mudslides-for-years/70003988
[xxix] Sydney Periera. Jan. 10, 2018. “Calfornia: Massive Mudslides Are Killing People Because the Fires Destroyed Nearly 300,000 Acres of Land.” Newsweekhttp://www.newsweek.com/california-fires-wiped-out-forests-and-now-huge-mudslides-are-killing-people-776676
[xxx] David R. Montgomery. Jan. 16, 2018. “Deadly California Mudslides Show the Need for Maps and Zoning that Better Reflect Landslide Risk.” http://www.govtech.com/public-safety/Deadly-California-Mudslides-Show-the-Need-for-Maps-and-Zoning-that-Better-Reflect-Landslide-Risk.html
[xxxi] Krysta Fauria. Jan. 26, 2018. “Emotional residents return to California mudslide area.” AP. https://apnews.com/ec4b52c64e954c5c91ad5d9dcb29ca98/Emotional-residents-return-to-California-mudslide-area
[xxxii] David. R. Montgomery. Jan. 16, 2018. “Deadly California Mudslides Show the Need for Maps and Zoning that Better Reflect Landslide Risk.” Government Technologyhttp://www.govtech.com/public-safety/Deadly-California-Mudslides-Show-the-Need-for-Maps-and-Zoning-that-Better-Reflect-Landslide-Risk.html.
[xxxiii] FEMA. Nov. 2, 2017. “Mapping Landslides.” https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/images/151386.
[xxxiv] Apr. 12, 2016. “New Landslide Legislation to Help Alleviate Hazard Risks.” The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy. https://thebridge.agu.org/2016/04/12/new-landslide-legislation-help-alleviate-hazard-risks/
[xxxv] 2004. “Partnerships for Reducing Landslide Risk: Assessment of the National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy.” https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10946/partnerships-for-reducing-landslide-risk-assessment-of-the-national-landslide
[xxxvi] http://www.govtech.com/public-safety/Deadly-California-Mudslides-Show-the-Need-for-Maps-and-Zoning-that-Better-Reflect-Landslide-Risk.html; Bill Dedman. Apr. 7, 2014. “How Politics Buries Science in Landslide Mapping.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/how-politics-buries-science-landslide-mapping-n73256
[xxxvii] State of California Department of Conservation. “Landslides.” http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/geologic_hazards/landslides
[xxxviii] Apr. 12, 2016. “New Landslide Legislation to Help Alleviate Hazard Risks.” The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy. https://thebridge.agu.org/2016/04/12/new-landslide-legislation-help-alleviate-hazard-risks/
[xxxix] Apr. 12, 2016. “New Landslide Legislation to Help Alleviate Hazard Risks.” The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy. https://thebridge.agu.org/2016/04/12/new-landslide-legislation-help-alleviate-hazard-risks/
[xl] Partnerships for Reducing Landslide Risk: Assessment of the National Landslide Hazards Mitigation Strategy. P.46-47. For more information on the topic of Landslide Risk Reduction see “Landslide Risk Reduction in the United States—Signs of Progress.” https://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/documents/DeGraff_Burns_MConnell2016.pdf
[xli] FLASH. 2008. “Tale of Two Homes – Wildfire.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2SJ_0T3mHg
[xlii] 550,000 homes in Southern California have the highest risk of fire damage, but they are not alone, http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-so-cal-fire-danger-20171108-htmlstory.html
[xliii] Jaclyn Cosgrove. Dec. 7, 2017. “The ‘enormous’ Thomas fire could burn for a few more weeks, fire chief says.” Los Angeles Timeshttp://www.latimes.com/
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