When toting up the costs of Southern California's wind-driven fires, there are things worth considering which offer hope of reducing the repetitive risks to life, peace of mind, property, and the tax burden. One is an old idea, tried but doomed in the past by resistance of the housing industry. The others are new and very very radical but of certain effectiveness.
It's time for state, county and city governments to face reality and outlaw roofs paved with fire tinder. Consumers, public safety agencies, and the insurance industry must unite in an earnest campaign of encouraging our legislators and other elected leaders to turn their ears from the pleadings and pressures of contractors and suppliers and heed common sense. The time has come for an initiative to outlaw wood shingle roofs.
The other suggestions will provoke responses of "incredible," "economically unfeasible," "technically impossible," etc. from the electrical power distribution industry. Perhaps the initiative approach is needed here.
It is proposed that a goal be set by public agencies for electrical power companies to redesign and correct the deficiencies of present electrical distribution networks running through the Southern California foothills so that fires will not be set by power lines downed by natural phenomena such as fall's high winds.