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Flame and Fortune in the American WestUrban Development, Environmental Change, and the Great Oakland Hills Fire$
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Gregory L. Simon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292802

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292802.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2020

Conclusion

Conclusion

From Excavating to Treating the Incendiary

Chapter:
(p.185) Conclusion
Source:
Flame and Fortune in the American West
Author(s):

Gregory L. Simon

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520292802.003.0011

This concluding chapter begins by using the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona to illustrate the real risks and human tragedies that arise when fighting fires that threaten residential communities. The disaster reminds us that civil society, politicians, city planners, and private developers among others should no longer conform to fiscal pressures and incentives at the metropolitan fringe as if there were no consequences. Collectively these groups must stop merely treating the symptom of the problem by putting out small fires within the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Instead we need to address the root causes of the firestorm itself, by treating western WUI areas like a patient—the Incendiary—through a comprehensive assessment of their backgrounds, histories, underlying drivers, internal governing mechanisms, core characteristics, and connections to externally influential forces. The chapter also outlines strategies that will help initiate a conversation about how to shift from current tactics that grapple with WUI symptoms to more innovative approaches that directly tackle affluence-vulnerability interface processes.

Keywords:   Yarnell Hill Fire, Arizona, Oakland Hills Tunnel Fire, wildland-urban interface, affluence-vulnerability interface

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