Skip to content

Despite wildfires, here’s why many in California plan to stay

December 8, 2017

LOS ANGELES — Flames pour down a hillside in the darkness like molten lava. Homes explode in flames. Subdivisions look like they were incinerated in a carpet bombing. And it’’s all right there to see, on live T.V.

No wonder a grandmother sent her granddaughter in Colorado a picture from California this week, with a note: “Cali is burning to the ground,” the granddaughter recounted on Twitter this week. “You sure you wanna move out there still???”

The answer for many people is still “Yes.” Yes, we want to come here. Or to stay. And wouldn’t think of living anywhere else.

The reason is that the fiery, apocalyptic California of this week’s wall-to-wall cable television coverage is not the California most people in the state are living in. While the firestorms of 2017 have been especially harsh, it’s rare — even among those who have lost the most — to hear Californians talking about getting out.

That’s because there are still too many things here to like — families, jobs, beaches and mountains, sunshine and, yes, still an air of abundant possibility.