Environment & Science

Why do we keep building houses in places that burn down?

Firefighters spray water on a burning home November 15, 2008 in Yorba Linda, California.  (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Firefighters spray water on a burning home November 15, 2008 in Yorba Linda, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

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Every year in California, there seems to be a bigger, crazier, more destructive wildfire. But every year, new houses go up in their path. And it's not just some houses, but thousands of houses — over 85,000 new houses in high fire risk areas in L.A. County alone, between 1990 and 2010.

Shouldn't we know better by now? Why do we keep building houses in places that are likely to burn? I decided to find out by following a proposed development in a fire-prone area of Orange County.

Read the full story on LAist >>

This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability, a new multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News, Arizona PBS, KJZZ, KPCC, Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal.