In an effort to prevent the wildfires that occurred last November from happening again, California state government implemented new regulations for wildfire safety and funding that took effect Jan. 1.
There are two important regulations that impact California residents, according to the Los Angeles Times. New garage doors installed as of this summer are required to have a backup battery that can lift the door during a power outage allowing residents to evacuate during wildfires . Homeowners will also have new rules to create a space free of brush and vegetation that are prone to fire.
California state government has delegated one billion dollars for additional wildfire prevention efforts, such as tree and brush removal programs, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The California state government also passed laws to aid wildfire victims, according to the Los Angeles Times. One such law gives homeowners the flexibility to use insurance coverage for rebuilding their homes and offering them an extra year, for a total of 3 years, to rebuild insured homes.”These new regulations will definitely aid those homeowners that [were] affected by the fires and allow them to have more freedom in recovery from them,” Katarina Cheng ’21 said. “I hope that the billion dollars being spend on wildfire prevention will be used in research that helps us to identify where these fires are most likely to begin, so we would be able to focus our fire prevention efforts on a smaller space and put that money to better use.”
Yvette Copeland ’21, who was affected by the fires last year, said she appreciates this aid but also thinks the California state government needs to do more.
“I think that these new regulations are a good start to protect people from upcoming fires, but California needs to do more to help support the people who were displaced by the recent fire now,” Copeland said.
Some students who were not affected by the fires still said they are glad these changes that are being made.
“I think it’s great that the government is actually taking actions and investing more money to help prevent wildfires in California,” Jacky Zhang ’21 said. “In the past year, there were a lot of very destructive fires, and even though they didn’t really affect me personally, a few of my friends’ houses were burned down. I really hope that those regulations and investments can help reduce the amount of wildfires in California and help the victims that are affected by the fires.”