In summary

Wildfires, blackouts, angry residents and a furious governor. Things have to change in California, but how? Listen to our PolicyMatters discussion.

YouTube video

Wildfires, blackouts, angry residents and a furious governor. Californians are grappling with a new and very dangerous “normal” — where there are more wildfires than before and more uncertainty about how the government, utilities and residents deal with them. For many, life can’t continue as it used to. Some are buying generators, some are stocking up on emergency supplies, and some are leaving the state.

But many Californians are also facing an uncomfortable reckoning: No one is going to save us, and whatever we come up with to respond to the unending cycle of fires is going to be very, very expensive and we may not like it.

If you’re trying to make sense of it all, watch our panel discussion, which will look at strategies for adapting to this new reality and what the state is doing to address this intractable problem. If you’re wondering if you should harden your home against fire or who’s paying for what, if you have questions about zoning to minimize building in high-fire areas, or if you just want to understand what we’re dealing with and how, you can’t miss this 90-minute smart discussion.


  • State Senator Bill Dodd: California District 3-Napa
  • Rebecca Miller: PhD Candidate, Stanford University, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources
  • Steve Nielsen: Homeowner, Wildfire Survivor
  • Dave Winnacker: Fire Chief, Moraga-Orinda Fire District


Julie Cart joined CalMatters as a projects and environment reporter in 2016 after a long career at the Los Angeles Times. In 2009 she and colleague Bettina Boxall won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for their series on wildfires in the West.

Special thanks to our event sponsor

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