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Mexifornia fire burns four homes on my family's street in Bel Air.
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Posted by: LateForLunch ®

12/07/2017, 11:00:55

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Four homes destroyed so far on my family's street along the perimeter of the so-called Skirball Fire (because it's near the huge, billion-dollar Skirball Art Museum). 

Wild fire is one concern when one wants to live overlooking undeveloped wilderness.  Even without human arson/carelessness, fires routinely occur periodically in wilderness areas. Though catastrophic for animals/people living there, wild-fires are largely a long-term good for wild areas because fire removes the deadwood. 

Since their street follows the ridge line overlooking the Sepulveda Pass, the flames will naturally tend to propagate uphill - toward the ridge. Worse, the high-winds, move flame literally in any direction (due to heat-driven air currents/flows ember disbursement).

A veritable Phlegathon. The city enforces brush regulations but one cannot clear brush on near-vertical surfaces. 

Their very modest home (compared to the huge estates) is apparently O.K. for now. They evacuated long ago (were out of town anyway) and unfortunately will be able to do nothing if the record-winds push the fire further down their street. 

Even if they lost their house (God forbid) they could replace their home because they have all of their ducks in a row financially (fire insurance is fully paid up,vital documents stored in a fire-resistant safe or at their office).

The luxury of living comfortably overlooking pastoral wilderness has some hidden costs. 

Their property value will probably take a short-term hit but will recover in a few years at most. That is really dumb  but a common market reaction to fires. The danger is actually much LESS in the first years following a major fire because the regrowth of sufficient foliage to provide fuel for another large fire takes years or decades. 

There will be no beauty looking out across the canyon however - no hawks circling silently, no gentle mists rising from the coast wafting the aroma of dozens of species of wild shrubs/trees, no breezes rippling the wild-grass, no visits from squirrels, hooting owls. Everything will look like the surface of the moon for a year or two. That's what hits the home values hardest. 

Anyone with a property in that area who was waiting for the right time to sell just screwed themselves for a few years. Most of the Sepulveda Pass will look like the photo below for a year or two except the trees will not be there. Most of them are ash now never to put forth sprout nor blossum again. 






Modified by LateForLunch at Thu, Dec 07, 2017, 11:44:49


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