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Learning from the fire

October 31, 2006

Re " 'Devil winds' stoke fatal fire," Oct. 27

The tragic deaths of brave firefighters raise tough questions for elected officials. At the local level, why are virtually indefensible, widely scattered homes allowed to be built in remote, high fire hazard areas? Why are more compact "village" patterns of development ignored? At the state level, why is the public forced to subsidize fire insurance for these units through the so-called FAIR plan?

Common sense and accountability have long been abandoned when it comes to fires in Southern California.

DAN SILVER

Los Angeles

The writer is executive director of the Endangered Habitats League.

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With respect to the brave firefighters who gave their lives trying to save a home, it is time for certain procedures to be followed the next time a fire of this magnitude erupts. For one, firefighters should concentrate on containing the fire; their lives should not be endangered in the pursuit of saving a home. Risking one's life to save another is one thing, but to risk a life to save a home is just not worth it.

DANNY CHIAVERINI

Los Angeles

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