Majority Of Fire-Safe Homes Survive
July 19, 2013
Laurel Morales
Ashes remain where a home once stood in Yarnell.

As major fires continue to rage across Southern California and Nevada, thousands of people have evacuated their homes. A new report said the vast majority of the homes that burned in the deadly Yarnell Hill Fire last month were not fire safe.

The report from the Pacific Biodiversity Institute said 89 percent of the homes that burned had flammable shrubs and trees touching the houses. It also pointed out that 95 percent of the homes where the owners had removed vegetation remained untouched by the fire.

"Our study showed that the work right next to your home is what really makes a difference," said Peter Morrison, who directs Pacific Biodiversity Institute. "It makes much more sense to do the work in communities around homes than to go out and try to do massive thinning and treatment in the backcountry."

Morrison said thinning the forest is a waste of money and more effort instead should be placed on thinning around homes and communities. Most fires start on private or state land, according to the National Fire Information Council