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November 20, 2012

Where the forest and development meet: ‘Maybe you shouldn't be building there'

  • One analyst says if the cost of fire suppression were borne by people who decide to build in fire-prone forests ‘we'd see a very different pattern of development.'
    Yakima Herald-Republic

    YAKIMA — The reddish-orange stain on the boulders lining their long rural driveway reminds Susan and Al Maza just how close they came to losing their home to wildfire.

    The stain is from fire retardant dropped by air tankers during 2010's Cowiche Mill Fire, which scorched much of the Mazas' 40-acre spread and roared to within 20 feet of their West Valley house. That the home still stands is a testament to the fire crews whose efforts Susan Maza describes as “like watching a choreography of a ballet ... everything according to plan.”

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