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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Why does L.A. still allow building in its fire-prone foothills?

Saddleridge fire
L.A. city firefighters work to put out hot spots after the Saddleridge fire burned a portion of Porter Ranch on Oct. 11.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Char Miller’s “modest proposal” that local agencies find a way to acquire undeveloped land as protection against wind-driven fire is long overdue.

Climate change continues to affect wind velocity through canyon passes, resulting in extensive evacuations.

Meanwhile, along the foothills in the northeast San Fernando Valley from Sylmar, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga and onto La Tuna Canyon Road, new developments with limited egress have been approved by the city. These are fire-prone areas. Numerous homeless encampments also abound on open spaces and in local parks.

Without immediate, aggressive action on the part of government agencies, instead of preventing a loss of homes, resources will continue to be used to control massive evacuations as well as the effects of uncontrollable fires that engulf homes.

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Katharine Paull, Kagel Canyon

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To the editor: I hope Miller’s timely article is the last clarion call for putting an end to building in fire zones.

The phrase “enough already” can also be applied to the fact that similar warnings have already been aired numerous times by others in recent memory. The question, then, is why keep doing the same thing and expecting different results?

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This time around, I sincerely hope that local agencies will finally stop pursuing the “business as usual and hope for the best” strategy and totally ban building houses in fire zones.

Should I hold my breath, and not just because of the polluted air from wildfires?

Dienyih Chen, Redondo Beach

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To the editor: Don’t build homes in fire zones? Absolutely.

And, while we’re at it, no more building in earthquake zones or places without an adequate supply of water. Oh, and don’t build on eroding beach cliffs either.

Jamo Jackson, Fallbrook


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