Wildfire citations applied very haphazardly across California

Wildfire citations applied very haphazardly across California

Although almost the entire drought-stricken California is prone to wildfires, yet fire warnings and citations are being applied very unevenly to the north and south parts of the state.

Available data shows a massive discrepancy in the number of citations applied in the past in the north and south for failing to clear vegetation to check the wild blazes.

During the past three years, property owners in southern and central parts of California were cited a total of 5,076 times for not doing enough to protect their homes from wildfires. During the same three years, merely 8 such citations were issued in all of Northern California. All of those 8 citations were issued in a single year in Glenn and Tehama counties.

Clearing brush and grass around his home in a scenic canyon, 85 miles north of San Francisco, helped Gary Bennett to save his home from the recent acre Butts Canyon fire that burnt more than 4,300 acres in the region. The same fire destroyed a neighbor's cottage that had been surrounded by overhanging oak trees.

During the past three years, fire department inspectors conducted nearly 396,000 defensible-space inspections in the southern region; while, in the north, just about 63,000 inspections were conducted. They found more than 29,000 and 11,000 violations in the south and north, respectively.

The difference is not only between the north and the south. There is a big difference even within the southern region. Los Angeles County accounted for the bulk of the citations in the past three years, while San Diego and Orange counties had merely one citation even though both counties suffered a number of destructive wildfires in the past decade.

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