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Fire Zone Building Restrictions

Should California ban building in high risk fire areas? The state's former top firefighter thinks so.

Posted: Dec 26, 2018 5:13 PM
Updated: Dec 26, 2018 6:06 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Should California ban building in high risk fire areas? The states former top firefighter thinks so.

"We're stronger than any politician or anybody's opinion we are mountain folks we are not flat landers we're a pretty tough bunch and resilient and if we wanna rebuild here we're gonna rebuild here," Morley said.

Shell Morley evacuated from her home in upper Magalia, and it wasn't her first time.

"I evacuated our building in 2008 I evacuated in 2018 if I got to do it again this is home this is our community our friends our family are here," Morley said.

Recently retired Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott, said "California's increasingly deadly and destructive wildfires have become so unpredictable that government officials should consider banning home construction in vulnerable areas."

Cal Fire Butte County Captain John Gaddie said this is not the new norm.

"I like to think of this as the way end of the spectrum, more bell curve I hope to never see it again but the potentials there of how many people live in the foothills of California or around the western United States for that part people like to live in tree lined areas so I really hope not to see it again," Gaddie said.

Pimlott worked with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for 30 years.

He said government and people should consider not building houses in thick forest areas.

But for Dana Billedeaux the forest area is all she knows.

"I mean I've lived here all my life this is the first time it's ever happened I mean everything is burnt I can't imagine it burning again I just think it was a perfect storm," Billdedeaux said.

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Hotter temperatures, elevated fire danger, and more widespread impacts to air quality are ahead for your Friday. We'll get even hotter on Saturday, and stay hot on Sunday. A drop in temperatures and the potential for thunderstorms will return to northern California early next week.
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