Flame and fortune in the American West [electronic resource] : urban development, environmental change, and the great Oakland Hills fire / Gregory L. Simon
- Simon, Gregory, 1974-
- Oakland, California : University of California Press, 
- Physical Description:
- 1 online resource
- Restrictions on Access:
- License restrictions may limit access.
- The 1991 Tunnel Fire : the case for an affluence-vulnerability interface -- The changing American West : from "flammable landscape" to the "incendiary" -- Trailblazing : producing landscapes, extracting profits, inserting risk -- Setting the stage for disaster : revenue maximization, wealth protection, and its discontents -- Who's vulnerable? the politics of identifying, experiencing, and reducing risk -- Smoke screen : when explaining wildfires conceals the incendiary -- Debates of distraction : our inability to see the incendiary for the spark -- Dispatches from the field : win-win outcomes and the limits of post-wildfire mitigation -- Out of the ashes : the rise of disaster capitalism and financial opportunism -- Conclusion : from excavating to treating the incendiary.
- "Flame and Fortune in the American West investigates the ongoing politics, folly, and avarice shaping the production of increasingly widespread yet dangerous suburban and exurban landscapes. The 1991 Oakland Hills Tunnel Fire is used as a starting point to better understand these complex social-environmental processes. The Tunnel Fire is the most destructive fire--in terms of structures lost--in California history. Although this fire occurred in Oakland and Berkeley, others like it sear through landscapes in California and the American West that have experienced urban growth and development within areas historically prone to fire. Simon skillfully blends techniques from environmental history, political ecology, and science studies to closely examine the Tunnel Fire within a broader historical and spatial context of regional economic development and natural resource management, such as the widespread planting of eucalyptus trees as an exotic lure for homeowners, and the creation of hillside neighborhoods for tax revenue--decisions that produced communities with increased vulnerability to fire. Simon demonstrates how a drive for affluence led to a state of vulnerability for rich and poor alike in Oakland that has only been exacerbated by the rebuilding of neighborhoods after the fire. Despite these troubling trends, Flame and Fortune in the American West illustrates how many popular and scientific debates on fire limit the scope and efficacy of policy responses. These risky yet profitable developments (what the author refers to as the Incendiary), as well as proposed strategies for challenging them, are discussed in the context of urbanizing areas around the American West and hold broad applicability within hazard-prone areas globally"--Provided by publisher.
- 9780520966161 (epub)
9780520292802 (cloth ; alk. paper)
9780520292796 (paper ; alk. paper)
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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