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Malibu And Yosemite: The Burning Factor

1987 words - 8 pages

Malibu has been burning ever since it’s been known to mankind. The geographic condition along with fierce Santa Ana wind has made it the perfect burning zone. Yosemite is prone to fire because of its natural condition but not to the extent like Malibu. Malibu has been inhabited for more than a century. Malibu is a place where people went to settle down because of the natural beauty. Mountains along with pacific shoreline are the perfect dream location for many reality businesses. All these natural beauties and the addition of hot and dry weather came with a dangerous problem; which is nothing but fire: a fire which is intensified exponentially by the wind of Santa Ana. In his book Ecology of Fear, Mike Davis explained that the fire hasn’t slowed down the population growth or building new homes in Malibu.
The word fire is closely associated with Malibu. Davis believes that, “Malibu, meanwhile, is the wildfire capital of North America and, possibly, the world” (Davis 97). Throughout the recorded history, Malibu has been burning over and over again. This might be the sole reason for Malibu’s reputation as the wildfire capital of the world. There is very little human- induced reason for this fire in Malibu; virtually all the fire reported is caused by natural reasons. As David said in his book, “The rugged 22-mile-long coastline is scourged, on average, by a large fire (1000 acres plus) every two-and-one-half years, and the entire surface area of the western Santa Monica Mountains has been burnt three-times-over this century” (Davis 98). So it is relatively safe to say that Fire is a very common naturally occurring disaster in Malibu. Apparently fire was not strong enough reason to stop the human settlement in Malibu, which has been going on since last century. Most of the Residents of Malibu are wealthy people. There are countless advantages of living in Malibu such as direct government subsidies to rebuild burnt or damaged homes from fire. Very low interest loans are also available to home owners along with other disaster relief subsidies and there is always extraordinary range of insurance. Uncontrolled residential development is also a reason for firestorms. According to Davis, “Yet-as most experts will readily concede-periodic firestorms are inevitable as long as private residential development is tolerated in the fire ecology of the Santa Monicas” (Davis 99). All the residents of Malibu are playing with their luck by choosing to live in a disaster prone place like Malibu. Mike Davis argues for this place to burn considering its natural and geographic situation. Davis has stated, “Born from high-pressure areas over the Great Basin, the Santa Anas become hot and dry as they descend avalanche-like into Southern California” (Davis 100). This critical Geographical condition of Malibu along with hot and dry weather and most importantly the addition of Santa Ana wind should be clear indication to everybody that Malibu is not suitable for human...

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