As Paradise rebuilds, a divide over safety a year after fire
PARADISE, Calif. (AP) — The Northern California town of Paradise is rebuilding a year after a wind-driven wildfire killed 85 people and incinerated roughly 19,000 homes, businesses and other buildings.
But all the construction begs the question of whether the resurgent community will be any safer than it was before the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.
Paradise leaders are trying to make the town more fire resistant. But some experts say rebuilding in such high-risk areas is a recipe for another disaster.
California’s growing homelessness crisis is one reason there is little talk of prohibiting construction in high-risk areas like Paradise.
They are generally much more affordable than cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, which face their own dangers from earthquakes, fires and rising oceans.