Hot and heavy

This summer's wildfires may have taught Florida its lesson: Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford is pushing for more money for "prescribed burns" while state planners have met with California officials to learn the mysteries of building regulation.

After 2,200 fires, nearly 500,000 acres burned, $150 million in costs to fight, 126 homes destroyed, 25 businesses destroyed, more than 200 homes and businesses damaged, 219 outbuildings cinderized and $390 million worth of timber totaled, it's easy to be cynical about what the Sentinel calls "controversial" plans for increased burning of underbrush, mandatory 30-foot buffers between houses and the woods, metal soffits. After all, even common sense regulations cost money up front, and Florida markets itself as the land of no consequences.

"We'll never be able to minimize wildfires," Crawford said in a statement, "but we can minimize their impact."

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