Why Does Sylmar Keep Burning? Pomona Professor Char Miller Weighs In

Char Miller is an environmental analysis professor at Pomona College, as well as the author of “Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream.” His most recent piece published in the LA Times uncovers why the Sylmar area keeps burning...

The Saddleridge Fire in Sylmar was the latest fire to rip through the area.

"When is enough, enough?" Miller writes. "The Saddleridge fire is a microcosm of the larger issues at stake whenever flames sweep across what is called the wildland-urban interface — that space where the natural meets the human-made. Sylmar is perfectly situated to help explain just how complicated and dangerous the interaction can be between fire and the place people call home."

But the Saddleridge fire wasn't the beginning... It was the third major fire to erupt in Sylmar in just the past 11 years. Miller notes this is a direct response to the link "between housing developments hammered into the wildland-urban interface and the highway and energy infrastructures that enable people to commute to and from these peripheral communities."

"Put another way, local agencies cannot afford to continue to pursue business as usual, use the state’s housing crisis to sanction the construction of vast subdivisions — and hope for the best," Miller says. As any Sylmar resident can attest, hope is not a fireproof strategy."

Char Miller will join The John and Ken Show on Monday afternoon to further explain... Make sure you're tuned in to KFI AM 640!

Read his latest opinion piece on the Los Angeles Times here: The Sylmar area has burned three times in recent years. What are we thinking?

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