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A way to break the terrifying pattern of fire and flood

In Southern California, water and fire can be a lethal combination. Just ask anyone who fled before December’s Thomas inferno only to evacuate again when rains slammed down on the burn areas, triggering deadly mudslides.For those whose houses were incinerated or flooded out, the understandable impulse is to restore what has been lost. Given what these residents have been through, no city or county would stand in their way. And government officials won’t block reconstruction for another reason as well: They are directly complicit in the construction of countless developments that have penetrated deep into Southern California’s dangerous fire-and-slide prone urban-wildland interface.Yet if city officials and c ...