Why? Or, more precisely: Why here?
Those are questions that need to be asked more often, and sooner in the process, when it comes to planning development in areas potentially threatened by wildfire.
In his latest "Wildfire Watch" column in the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, Lucian Deaton, a member of NFPA's Wildland Fire Operations Division team, writes that even beneficial regulatory and policy solutions regarding wildland fire can sometimes lose sight of why communities in the wildland/urban interface encourage potentially destructive development in the first place. "How are economic development models, banking and loan requirements, construction practices, local tax models, comprehensive planning efforts, and consumer 'demand' influencing the initial decision to build?" he asks.
The challenge, Deaton says, is to reach planners and other stakeholders with solutions before potential problems become real problems—when it's too late.