Christopher Knight

Essential California: Despite risks, a devastated Santa Rosa neighborhood was exempt from stringent fire regulations

An aerial view of the Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa, where many homes were destroyed in the wildfire.

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Oct. 16, and here’s what’s happening across California:

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Why Santa Rosa burned

Residents of Coffey Park were stunned to see their tree-lined suburban neighborhood burned down by a wildfire. But the destruction of the Santa Rosa district wasn’t a mystery to fire scientists. They view it as a rare but predictable event that has exposed flaws in the way fire risk is measured and mitigated in...

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