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JLeslie's avatar

Do the cities that have been burned down become very low risk after the fires?

Asked by JLeslie (61539points) September 20th, 2020 from iPhone

If they rebuild those communities and cities are they safer from catching fire than places that are verdant and untouched? Do the fires effectively rid the areas of fuel for fire?

Do communities usually rebuild? Or, do fires across large areas usually mean all the residents move and never come back?

Do investors buy up the land?

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3 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

in the 1991 Oakland Hills fire, 2,843 houses and 437 apartment/condo units were destroyed. Most of the area was completely rebuilt within 10 years, many of the new houses much larger than what had been there before.

But while the neighborhood is very cautious when fire conditions are occurring, they are not at all immune to another conflagration. And even though many risk mitigation efforts have been made, such as getting rid of non native trees that burn too easily and making sure there are plenty of hydrants, everyone gets jumpy when the Santa Ana winds come up.

Demosthenes's avatar

^I was in the Oakland Hills recently and was amazed by the amount of eucalyptus there. Doesn’t seem like much was accomplished in terms of getting rid of non-natives (eucalyptus is very invasive and difficult to get rid of).

The fires rid the area of fuel for a while and the new homes built are often more fire-safe than the previous homes, but if enough time goes by, the area can certainly burn again. The Tubbs Fire, which burned in 2017 and was especially destructive, burned an area that had previous burned in the 60s. The difference is that in the 60s virtually no one lived there and now the area is full of homes. Maybe we shouldn’t be building in fire-prone zones. It unfortunately doesn’t take long for fuel for build up.

Pandora's avatar

I saw a new clip where they showed an area that they said had already been through a fire a few years ago and they were just about done rebuilding when this fire torched all that work goodbye. If you rebuild there will be house, which means fires. Can homes be covered with concrete so they won’t burn? I imagine full concrete homes would be bad because of earthquakes but what it it’s just the outside and the roof is made of some material that can take high temperatures and won’t burn easily.

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