So what is causing such disasters and what can be done to combat it? Well, contrary to what many say, I don't see it as having anything to do with man made climate change. Rather, it's a result of nature, the natural order of things that God created and how it responds to the way we use the land we were given.
California has been a land of extremes, more often than not drought, with intermittent and fast hitting rainstorms. With strong Santa Anna winds pushing very dry and hot air up the canyons, speed being increased by their being directed into a natural wind tunnel, just one spark can turn the dry brush into an instant inferno. Then later, with nothing on the surface to hold the soil, a five minute deluge of one half inch of rain will turn it into a flood zone with major erosion. And it happens again and again and yet we think we are so smart and can tame it.
Think about it from the perspective of other parts of the country. Hurricanes ravage the Atlantic and East Coast regions repeatedly, blizzards make life miserable in the north and extensive drought followed by short but heavy rains inflict their wrath on the western states and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Even the Mississippi, after major tinkering with by the Corps of Engineers, has only become subject to huge new floods that they never had before.
While we can't eliminate all events, there is something we could due to lessen the impact. We could stop building massive homes on land that is likely to burn out of control and then "slip slide" away, or cease to build massive structures jammed together on shifting sands on the edge of stormy oceans, or end the folly of building cities in the swamp in territory subject to abnormally heavy rains. That doesn't mean that we can't use our land, but it takes reasonable accommodation and common sense according to the laws of nature which we continually defy.
When we defy nature, even when we have seen what it can do to us, and then continue to do more of the same only where much large numbers of people are impacted than before, things will only get worse. And try as we might to control nature, we will always fail.
So whether we want to live overlooking a large canyon in California, on a barrier island off the East Coast, or in the mountains in the Appalachian or Rocky Mountains, think about the unintended consequences that will be faced. They are real and they will always strike like a viper when we least expect it.