A number of researchers are asking federal officials to consider setting up what are known as fire plains. These are areas that could be managed like flood plains, because the areas are susceptible to forest fires.
The idea is to either limit development in those areas or make sure that such development is done in the safest possible way. Doctor Tony Cheng with the Forest Restoration Institute says it’s tricky because fires can be unpredictable.
"Fires can occur just about anywhere, and we don't know where the point of initiation is going to be. We don't know how it's going to spread. It's all going to be very weather-dependent."
Cheng says building homes in a way that minimizes fire impacts will probably be more successful than not allowing any building in the mountains. A U-S Senate committee is considering the idea.