Job One in Wildfire 'Red Zones' - Cut Incentives Boosting Building
Colorado's latest wildfire disaster should intensify efforts to root out incentives that are encouraging development in zones of implicit danger. There are lots of opportunities.
- The Black Forest fire, which destroyed over 300 homes, is just the latest in a burst of destructive wildfire episodes in Colorado. The rise in losses is largely a result of development in danger zones.
- The burst of building in the state in what are called "Red Zones" was powerfully charted by I-News Network.
- Headwaters Economics has charted 10 wise steps that can cut costs going forward. Here's a sample:
- Insurance: Allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums in fire-prone areas.
- Zoning: Limit development in the wildland-urban interface with local planning and zoning ordinances.
- Eliminate Mortgage Interest Deductions: Eliminate home interest mortgage deductions for new homes in the wildland-urban interface.
- Reduce Federal Firefighting Budgets: Induce federal land managers to shift more of the cost of wildland firefighting to local governments. [This amounts to a hidden incentive to build in red zones.]
- Global warming is likely exacerbating risk through drought and heat, but the other factors driving vulnerability and costs utterly dominate.
- A view of the mess.
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