California wildfires: Seeking solutions to Some Issue

Over 2.7 million Californians live in areas that are at very significant risk for wildfires, based on our analysis of census data and country fire maps. They reside in more than 1.1 million housing units, or in about one in 12 of the country’s homes.

That is right: 1 in 12 homes in California are in risk of burning at a wildfire.

That is a problem with no simple answers. And about where and how we are falling short the more information we could share, the faster we could come on potential solutions.

That was the spirit by which journalists out of Media News, McClatchy, USA TODAY Network-California and the Associated Press came after November’s Camp Fire in Paradise that shot 85 lives.

We asked this question: Should California is not able to burn, how can we now have a complex conversation about how to reduce the consequences on people who live here?

More than five weeks we analyzed say hazard assessments, end models and the era of the housing inventory to recognize the 15 places . As Paradise was we evaluated evacuation strategies for the 187 cities and cities designated as large risk. We employed street patterns, data and other substances to determine which of these communities’ residents would have the most trouble evacuating.

What we found is deeply troubling. And there are steps we can take in the years ahead and that will help tomorrow.

We interviewed residents whose houses survived to learn about exactly what they did and what others can do. We detail houses are developed to criteria that are fire-resistant and how to tell if yours isn’t, many.

Our aim with this collaboration is to place a spotlight on coverage problems that can and should be increased at the state Capitol’s areas and by communities which set evacuation paths and space criteria.

As we seem to bend the trajectory of all the impact of wildfire we hope you share and browse these powerful, revelatory tales and videos.

We start with the Sacramento Bee, Paradise Post tales and also Chico Enterprise-Record of today. In two weeks, reporting teams from Associated Press, Reno Gazette-Journal, Ventura County Star, The Desert Sun and the Redding Record Searchlight will publish work about evacuation paths and what we can learn from people who have to leave places everywhere.

Even the AP earlier this month shared data using all its California member news organizations so they could better understand the terms. It is also currently distributing this reporting.

Thank you always for the support of local journalism. We look forward to continuing a conversation that is critical in the weeks and months ahead of time.


Lauren Gustus is now Editor of The Sacramento Bee and West Region Editor for McClatchy.


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