CA. Fires - What's wrong with the inspectors?

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I dont live in or near California, but I am constantly seeing disasters in that state which in my opinion are due to stupidity in construction. Why so the building inspectors allow buildings to be built on steep hillsides? How many of these homes have slid down the hills in recent years? From watching the news, it would seem that there have been many. Now we have this firestorm. I do understand that the firestorm is a natural disaster (except those intentionally set according to the news reports).
The part that gets me is why are so many homes burning? We live in a time when every wirenut in our electrical system needs to be approved, and we can not even erect a simple shed without some sort of approval to insure it's safe. Installing a wood stove involves a major amount of paperwork, inspections, and most insurance companies won't even allow them without a huge increase in the cost of the policy.
I do understand that we all need to be safe, and the average homeowner needs to be inspected since most people do not know proper building methods, and there are lots of professional contractors who want to make an extra buck and use inferior materials or cut corners which can be a safety risk. At the same time, some of these rules can be rediculous and very nit-picky, causing added expense and hassles to the home owner.
With that said, it seems that the biggest reasons for these major fires in CA are not faulty wiring or causes INSIDE the home, but these firestorms. Therefore, would it not make sense to require a certain amount of open (mowed) space around buildings in areas prone to these firestorms, or at least prevent them from burning the buildings.
It seems to me that the inspectors overdo it as far as small details within homes but ignore the external causes. Not everyone is the country is in a firestorm area, but those that are should be reqired to maintain some space. This only makes sense.
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snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Inspectors normally don't have any control over these kinds of things. That is up to zoning and other people. Cutting back is also outside their jurisdiction. One of the annual rites of fire season is the inevitable newspaper article about some hooha because a homeowner or association wants to make an open space and environmental or other rules don't allow them to do so. The quickest way to stop most of these concerns is to not insure people who set-up in these kinds of areas, but the political fallout would be too great for the insurance companies to endure if they tried. The flood insurance people are finally coming to grips with maybe they shouldn't automatically insure people after the 2-3 time they are flooded out.
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snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

...
Such regulation do exist and insurance companies often require even greater space than the state regulations.

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snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

Ahhh, you aren't aware of the restrictions landowners are put under by all the 'environmental' regulations, are you? Much of the problem stems from the inability of landowners to properly control the underbrush, grasses, weeds, and other flammable vegetation. Their hands have been tied by the 'green' movement.
--
Dave
www.davebbq.com
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Dave Bugg wrote in message ...

by all

from the

weeds,
'green'
That's true Dave. Last year during the Tahoe fires, about the only home that made it through the fire in one neighborhood, was that of a homeowner that went against the regs and cleared much more than he was *supposed* to.
Cheri
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"Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote in message

Okkaaay, so how about commenting about why these idiots live in these areas in the first place? There are lots of placed ill-suited to human habitation; Mississippi flood plain, a LOT of SoCal, tornado alley, and most of Florida, yet people continue to build there and the gubmint continues to bail them out every single time. It's ridiculous that those of us living in sensible places with no tornados, floods, mudslides, wildfires, hurricanes, etc. have to fund the constant re-building of those who insist on living where they shouldn't. You want to live there, great, but I'm NOT going to pay for it. Yes, we have the occasional flood here in upstate NY, but only the 10-20 homes of idiots who feel compelled to live right ON the river. Why should they be allowed to do this and still get bailed out by the gubmint? While it's great farmland, no one should have a house on the Mississippi flood plain for just this reason. Crops, sure. Houses, not so much. Same with much of SoCal. It burns, it slides, it quakes, DON'T LIVE THERE. Duh.
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grasses,
a
was
areas
habitation;
Hey, you will get no argument from me there. Same thing in the San Francisco Hills, the homes slide off, and they rebuild.
Cheri
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On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 16:47:42 -0700, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:

If I knew there was a fire storm coming toward my house, I'd rent a bulldozer and rip down all the trees and brush for a mile in all directions.
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all new and or replacement homes should be mandated built of concrete. steel reinforced, very sttrong, good for 300 MPH winds, excellent energy efficency, foam inside concrete.
concrete homes wouldnt burn, at least not the outside. with storm shutters many homes could of survived.
concrete homes look just like wood stick built ones, and will last forever
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On Fri, 26 Oct 2007 02:48:22 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

It is 150 MPH here in Sw Florida. That is still about as strong as you get in the eye wall of all but the biggest hurricane and certainly more than enough for anyone not in the eye.
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On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 19:38:28 -0400, <h> wrote:

Do you depend on your local "gubmint" to fix and repair roads in New York (upstate) ? Who takes away downed trees from blizzards?
Californians: coming to an area near you, soon!
-- Oren
"Painting is the art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critics."
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??? ALL roads everywhere are fixed by the gubmint, not just in NY. The last time we lost a tree during a blizzard we chopped it up for firewood. But to answer your question, the HOMEOWNER is responsible for downed trees. Idiot. Plonk.
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on 10/26/2007 8:28 AM h said the following:

When hurricane Floyd hit NY back in Sept. 1999. It was the homeowners with chain saws that cleared the local roads before the highway department could get there. I was there with my chain saw, even though I had a 50 foot Wild Cherry down in my yard. We dumped the wood on the side of the road for the highway department to pick it up. There wasn't much left after the fireplace owners took most of it away.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

I lived in Saranac Lake, NY for two winters (few miles from Lake Placid ).
Always seemed to me the snow plows found the downed trees on public roads first Employees could not get to work, thus needing to mandate overtime for the un-lucky person.
Maybe a few locals carried chainsaws, not everyone. A downed tree was good reason to call in to work
-- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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h wrote:

I'm sure upstate New York is a lovely place.
But turn the question around: Why is upstate New York so ghastly that people would rather live in the New Orleans 9th Ward?
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Huh? I was born in New Orleans and I happen to live in NY now. LA is hot, humid, and really great. NY is hot, humid and really great, but NY is hot and humid for MUCH less of the year, so I don't live in LA anymore. Most people tend to stay where they are born. People with brains make a choice. Some choose to stay, many choose to go to more livable places. Plonk.
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h wrote:

Fran Liebowitz, a fellow New Yorker, opined "The outdoors is something through which I pass on my way from my apartment to my car."
Any place is "livable" if you stay inside.
The "Great Outdoors" is for beavers and ducks.
And those who like to fondle beavers and ducks.
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On Thu, 25 Oct 2007 16:25:42 -0700, "Cheri" <gserviceatinreachdotcom> wrote:

CA or NV side of the lake?
-- Oren
"Painting is the art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critics."
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wrote:

I agree "environmerntalSM" is a cult religion but there are responsible ecologists
I'm sure there were educated ecologists who wanted to do small prescribed burns around those houses and the homeowners wouldn't let them because they did not want the smoke and to have to look at burned ground for a couple months. The DEP folks have the same problem in Florida. Wonder how that is working out for them now.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

My comment wasn't directed at responsible ecologists.

Nope, that isn't the issue at all. The issue are is regulations prohibiting mechanical clearing of the grounds of high brush and tilling the ground for firebreaks where it would be appropriate.
--
Dave
www.davebbq.com
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