The extensive wildfires in Southern California at the end of October have been devastating: half a million acres burnt, 7 dead, and 1,800 structures burnt. But they are not unexpected, have happened before and will happen again. The native Americans were more cautious about development in this area realising the fire hazard, and would even burn brush under control to prevent the ability of wild fires to spread. While global warming may extend the problem, there are ways to live with fire hazards such as building fire proof shelters and planning for fire. However, unfortunately, we can expect recurrence of these events annually, though hopefully with less extensive damage.