July 20, 2024
Despair for Many and Silver Linings for Some in California Wildfires
Mr. Parkinson, the resident of the Sonoma hills, says about 40 percent of his neighbors have not started to rebuild their homes, many of them because they cannot afford to.
Mr. Parkinson, the resident of the Sonoma hills, says about 40 percent of his neighbors have not started to rebuild their homes, many of them because they cannot afford to.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — After a wildfire razed his spacious suburban home in the Sonoma hills two years ago, Pete Parkinson set out to rebuild. This time it would be an even better one. He reoriented the house toward vistas of a nearby mountain and designed a large kitchen with hickory floors and 16-foot windows under vaulted ceilings.

“We are now living the silver lining,” said Mr. Parkinson, a retired civil servant who moved into his new home 10 days ago. “It is a beautiful, brand-new home.”

California’s catastrophic wildfires have not discriminated between rich and poor. In recent years tens of thousands of people lost their homes, from trailer parks to mansions. But the aftermath of the fires has produced a spectrum of misery and recovery, ranging from the wealthy, who with insurance money rebuilt houses sometimes worth more than the ones that burned, to those who lost everything and years later still have nothing.

Like access to quality education and clean water, natural disasters are another prism through which California’s vast income inequalities can be viewed.

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See Also:

(1) Anger mounts as utility imposes more blackouts in California

(2) Getty Fire Breaks out in Los Angeles, Adding to California’s Fire Woes

(3) Revolutionary California (Paywall)

(4) California Governor Accepted Donations from Utility Company He Now Excoriates for ‘Greed’

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