California fire chief: State must adapt to new wildfire norm

California's top firefighter says the state’s increasingly deadly and destructive wildfires have become so unpredictable that government officials should consider banning home construction in vulnerable areas.

Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott will leave his job Friday after 30 years with the agency. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said government and citizens must act differently to protect lives and property from fires that now routinely threaten large populations.

That may mean rethinking subdivisions in thickly forested mountainous areas or homes along Southern California canyons lined with tinder-dry chaparral. California residents should also train themselves to respond more quickly to warnings and make preparations to shelter in place if they can't outrun the flames.

Dawn Kamber