[REGIONAL NEWS] Can new homes on the edge of San Diego stop wildfires?

New development in outskirts of San Diego planned, despite fire risks./Desert Sun

A local fire chief who supports the development in a “very high” fire risk area says yes. Other experts emphatically disagree

By Gabrielle Paluch | Palm Springs Desert Sun

Before the scrubby hills around Proctor Valley Road east of Chula Vista were fenced off as a nature preserve, they were an off-roading destination, and also the site of rumored monster hauntings. 

The area is also prone to fires.

Since 1910 at least 17 wildfires have burned within Proctor Valley, most recently the 2007 Harris Fire. That’s one fire every five to seven years on average. Fire agencies have given the valley a “very high” fire risk designation. It is flanked by two mountaintops with an “extreme” fire risk designation.

But neither the risk designation, nor the history of blazes has dissuaded a developer, with the help from the optimistic local fire chief, from pushing the urban-wildland boundary into Proctor Valley.

A proposal by Bonita-based developers Jackson Pendo would turn 1,284 acres of the fire-prone wildlands into upscale mixed-use housing for 1,119 families, complete with a shopping village, a kindergarten and its own fire station.

 New development in outskirts of San Diego planned, despite fire risks.

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