Today's pattern of development requires planning for wildfires

George Wuerthner recently wrote an important piece in New West on the need to plan for those who build on “the fire plain,” just like planning should be done for those on a flood plain.

Land Use Planning Must Address Wildfire Plain. New West. George Wuerthner.

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  1. Mikeh Avatar

    This is an excellent article, and I agree with all of it. Building a home in a likely fire area should be looked at as no different from building a home in a flood plain.

    “Home protection” should not be a priority for fires in these areas. Fighting the actual fire should receive highest priority.

  2. Bogo Avatar

    Maybe they should also require fire buffer zones around all structures in the “fire plane”. From reading articles I know of a couple of remote homes that ended up being used as staging areas for fire fighting because they had wide buffer zones around them with no fuel sources. Not only were they easy to save from the fires, but they were useful for the fire fighting effort.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan