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Homes still being built in high fire zones

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Despite the risk of building a home, selling a home and moving into a home in a high risk fire zone, companies, homeowners and governments still find it acceptable finds the LA Times today.

"This is a land rush into danger," said Roger Kennedy, former director of the National Park Service and author of a recent book on wildfires. "A land rush by people who do not understand what they are doing and who are subsidized by others to do it. It's crazy." Even if firefighters can save these homes, the firefighting costs are expected to continue to rise.

The state legislative analyst's office estimated that it would cost about $869 million to fight wildfires in fiscal 2007-08 -- an 83% increase over the cost 10 years ago.

Upcoming developments include Newhall Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley near the Ventura County line, Ritter Ranch and Anaverde near Antelope Valley, and three more in Orange County. The massively large Newhall Ranch, as destructive to the ecosystem it is, will most likely be the safest and well built product of all the developments because of
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Newhall Ranch & Farming Co.'s track record (think Valencia).