April's devastating fire in Valparaiso, Chile, reminded me in many ways of similar scenarios in the US, including the media's tendency to call out each fire event as "the worst" that has ever happened. But in many ways, government leadership included, Chile's recovery from a "worst ever" event in a wildland/urban interface might end up having a very different outcome than what we typically experience in our country.
NFPA Journal Latinoamericano editor Gabriela Portillo Mazal invited me to share my "punto de vista," or point of view on the Valparaiso wildland/urban interface fire and the reaction by leaders from the mayor all the way to Michelle Bachelet, Chile's president. Can Chile lead the way in sensible, safe and sustainable rebuilding in wildfire prone areas, as it has proven it can in its earthquake-vulnerable cities? I'll be watching and learning from them in my work at NFPA.
See page 18 of the latest Journal Latinoamericano (in Spanish or Portuguese) for my article pondering Chile's fiery past and the psossiblity of a safer future. A version for "norteamericanos," in English, is available as an NFPA Journal Online Exclusive here.
Image courtesy ReachGlobal