On Sunday morning, a car on fire in Southern California is believed to have started a wildfire, burning 2,036 acres and forcing hundreds from their homes.
Residents of about 500 homes had to leave the area for several hours, but most were able to return Sunday night. The quickly spreading fire threatened multimillion-dollar homes in the county, and in Anaheim Hills, about 35 miles from Los Angeles.
As of Monday morning, the 3-square mile blaze was 30 percent contained, and Orange County Battalion Chief Ed Fleming said it would likely take another night of cooler temperature and increased humidity to get it fully contained. READ MORE
Should taxpayers cover the cost of homes damaged by California wildfires? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think!
Here's What FOX Fans Are Saying:
“What's wrong with homeowner's insurance paying for it?” — Joseph
“Its time to stop selecting certain areas and certain disasters, anytime you lose a home. If we are going to repair or replace these few selected areas, then its time we replaced every home destroyed in the U.S.A.” — Alex
“It's called insurance, like I have to pay!” — Sandy
“I believe that that we the insurance companies pay high premiums, and they are responsible for this. The costs are directed to home owners, not general taxpayers. I am a home owner, and it seems that the insurance companies charge more and more for less and less coverage each year. If we allow the state to pick up for fire coverage, then why not increase it to earth quake, flood, etc. — all major disasters? If all taxpayers agree to generalize all major insurance coverage for homes and industrial property through our taxes, that would possibly cut the cost of homeowners insurance, and make it profitable.” — Marie
“That is what insurance is all about. Taxpayers have too much to pay for now, and the price tags keep going up. I feel sorry for the people who lose their homes , but government is already too big, and takes way more than they should.” — Hal
“Yes, taxpayers should help offset the costs of wildfires. These people that complain about tax dollars going to help the victims, are the same ones that expect relief money for tornados, hurricanes, floods, blizzards, drought, or any other disaster that afflicts our country. Let's face it … no matter where you live, you are not exempt from disaster, so lets all be good neighbors and help out those in need. ” — Roland
“Absolutely not! California residents choose to live where they do, be it on a hillside subject to mudslides, areas subject to wildfires, or on the ocean. They choose to have shake roofs, shrubs, and trees around their houses that feed fires and not enough insurance to cover their costs. If they cannot afford the insurance, they should not live in that particular area. This may sound harsh, but I am expected to take responsibility for my actions … and I do. I should not have to take responsibility for others' actions also.” — Shirley
“No, responsible homeowners will purchase insurance to protect their valuable asset. The government and taxpayers cannot continued be held accountable for all the natural disasters or criminal activity that create the losses.” — LouAnn
“I believe we, the California taxpayers, should be the one footing the bill for any fire that is set. It is obvious that damages to huge fires like that cannot be paid by the person who started the fire, intentionally or accidentally. If someone starts it intentionally, they should, of course, be held liable for any crimes they have committed — but the cost of putting it out should be placed on the taxpayers.” — Michelle
“Why should California taxpayers pay for someone's home that was burned up in a wildfire? There is a whole industry well established in the private sector that is willing to accept that responsibility, for a price. Their product is called Fire Insurance. It is available at a cost that is directly related to the risk of fire. Live in the wonderful brush areas and you pay more. Live in the city, you generally pay less. Have a wooden shake roof, you pay more. Have a tile roof, you pay less. It is all about choices. If the cost of insurance is too high, then you can't afford to live in the brush.” — Raymond
“No; that's a known hazard. They should have their own insurance and do everything possible to insure their property is protected from fires.” — Valerie
“I don't agree with this! I lost my home to a fire four years ago, I didn't get help. I didn't see any money to cover my damages. I am tired of us taxpayers being used as piggy banks.” — Carmen
“Many of these homeowners are aware of the wild land interface that exists in these areas. Developers are warned of the potential dangers of it by the local fire departments. Developers continue to build with the approval of government officials with developing revenue tax base for the community.In many cases, the tract maps for development have a warning printed on them such as: Developments are located in a high/extreme fire hazard area, which is subject to hazardous fire conditions. Insurance may be costly or not available in some cases depending on the severity of the wild land exposure.” — Art
“Why should a wildfire be treated any different than damage from hurricanes, flooding and tornados?” — Leslie
“Last time I checked, there was something called homeowner's insurance that was made to cover the damage to homes from such things as fire. If the people in the Anaheim Hills who spend close to and over $1 million dollars on their homes do not have insurance, I say too bad. When you live in an area that has fires and mud slides every year, it's just stupid to not insure your investment especially when you live in an area that, by nature is made to burn” — Rachel
“No, I do not think that taxpayers should pay for the damage from the fires. These people are building in a fire area. Its the same as building on a flood plane, or should be.” — Sue
“Absolutely not. No taxpayer should ever have to foot the bill for another's house or property. Those choosing to live in California's high risk areas are vulnerable to wildfires, flooding, mudslides, and other disasters, and should buy some type of insurance or live somewhere else.” — Shelia
“I thought the reason we all carry fire insurance is to cover things like this. NO I don't think the taxpayers should pay.” — Bruce
“If Anaheim Hills homeowners don't have enough sense to get Property and Casualty Insurance, then they have been playing the odds and the odds just caught up to them. This is the same area that, a couple years ago, had those horrendous hill slides so for a homeowner to STILL not have insurance is just foolish.” — David
“Taxpayers should not have to cover the costs of homes damaged by California wildfires. Home owners should take preventive measures to ensure safety such as, clearing brush and foliage away from the home, and growing plants with high water content in an area surrounding the home. Homes buried in forests and shrubs are almost asking to get caught in a fire. Fires are inevitable; natural or man-made. If someone chooses to live in a high risk area, like fire or mudslide, then they should pay for problems associated with it. If I buy a high-risk mutual fund that loses money, I don't expect my neighbor to pay me for it.” — Joel
“Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for any charitable purpose, and certainly not based upon the hit or miss political wind. On the other hand, officials could and maybe should provide some leadership in voluntary efforts to help people deal with any crisis.” — D.W.