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California may boost fire risk-area home rules

Years of increasingly deadly wildfires that ripped through California communities are spurring measures that would toughen requirements for approving homes in high-risk areas.

A state Senate committee on Monday advanced legislation that would require developers to increase fire protections, plan for evacuations, or prepare for residents who may need to ride out fires in safe areas.

The measure also would require local governments to try to make existing structures less likely to burn.

The building industry says the regulations would make housing production more costly, resulting in fewer homes being built just as California struggles with a persistent affordable housing and homelessness problem.

Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara says her measure is needed after wildfires devastated communities including the Sierra foothills city of Paradise last year.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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