From a housing crisis to a fire crisis: San Francisco's exodus led many to a new conundrum

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Monday, August 2, 2021

Regions with lots of wildland-urban interface are “often some of the most beautiful places in our state — the places that you dream of having a little cabin in the woods, surrounded by big trees,” said Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, whose research led to The Chronicle’s analysis. But there’s a trade-off: People moving to high-WUI areas are more likely to experience wildfires directly. High-WUI areas burn more easily than populated areas with less vegetation, so fires often begin and spread rapidly in these areas. Additionally, because high-WUI regions have fewer accessible roads and more spread-out buildings than urban areas, firefighters often have a harder time containing blazes and protecting people and property.

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