Building in disaster-prone areas should cost more

Pay to play: Building in disaster-prone areas should cost more. Salt Lake Tribune Editorial.

The editorial above is about Utah, but it uses California as the bad example (Utah is just as bad except that the population is smaller).

California’s current budget disaster is compounded by the costs of fighting the many fires — $13-million a day — with most of the high cost due to saving structures that never should have been built in wildlfire prone areas.

Why should others suffer monetarily because of obviously bad private decisions? In fact the bad decisions were made in part because the individuals and the developers understood that the costs of their decisions would not be borne by themselves alone.

Update (August 21) on the monetary effects of this on the Forest Service budget. Forest pinching pennies because of fire costs.  By Corey Hatch. Jackson Hole News and Guide.
One effect we have seen is no monitoring of grazing and the livestock operators are running amuck.

Still more (August 22)- Defending Homes from Wildfire Costs Montana Millions. By Matthew Frank. New West.

Fire, Water and Political Leadership in the West

In the view of Joan McCarter the problems of drought, lack of water for “traditional” uses and the fires have been aided and abetted by years of short-sighted political leadership in the West.

She doesn need to say it, but Idaho has got to be a prime example.

Fire, Water and Political Leadership in the West. By Joan McCarter. New West