Perspectives from local leaders
"While fighting wildfires is inherently dangerous, the construction of more homes in more remote locations makes it even more challenging and costly to protect lives and prevent property loss while safeguarding our firefighters. As wildfire conditions worsen in coming decades, we need to better integrate fire risk assessment into our land use planning decisions along and near the wildland-urban interface."
Assistant Region Chief (formerly San Diego Unit Chief), CAL FIRE Southern Region
The term "wildfire" has become a misnomer. Large wildfires frequently threaten homes, businesses and lives, shifting the focus to structure defense. Simultaneously, a new paradigm is emerging: We are witnessing a dramatic shift in the frequency and intensity of wildfires due to a variety of factors, most of which are human-caused2. As our population grows, decisions on developing and managing the wildland-urban interface will determine our vulnerability and the risks imposed on our firefighters.
2. Over 68% of wildfires are found to be ignited by human activities. Data from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. 2012 Wildfire Activity Statistics: Graphic Figure 1. Percent of Fires by Cause. Available at: <http://www.fire.ca.gov/downloads/redbooks/2012Redbook/2012_Redbook_Graphics1-10.pdf>