This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.
In the third year of a statewide drought, California faces increasing risk of wildfire. That's why it is important to control new housing development in wildfire zones.
The reality is that year after year, cities and counties approve new subdivisions in remote canyons and forests in high fire-hazard zones without ensuring adequate local fire protection. They assume that outside firefighters will help when disaster strikes – costing the state more than $300 million a year.
Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, has introduced Assembly Bill 666 that would do for fire-prone areas what the state already does for flood-prone areas. Just as new developments in flood-prone areas have to show adequate flood protection, new developments in fire-prone areas would have to show adequate fire protection.
Jones' bill would require counties faced with projects in fire-prone areas to:
• Certify that sufficient fire protection services are available through the county, city, special district, or through contracts with the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection;
• Follow state fire regulations on roads, turnarounds, defensible space and emergency water systems;
To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.