Baja Californians (Mexicans) reject American 'stick-built' housing construction, American heavy-watering landscaping and American no-cash-down mortgages. They build very slowly, in concrete blocks, ceramic roof tiles, paying cash as they go, planting cacti and other fat desertic plants. They basically enjoy their scenery the way nature made it: semi-desertic.
To them the American 'Dream Home' is 'matchsticks and cardboard', cannot stop a bullet (!) or even a toddler on his trike. On the outside it is packed with plants species that drink up like drunken sailors. And this is depleting the water tables and slowly drying up Mexican farms and cities too close to California. So that when the wildfires licked Mexico's border yesterday, pushed by violent Santa Ana winds, they had nowhere to go. The land in Mexico is rocky and mostly barren, the plants are all native, having thick water-gorged leaves, the houses all have mostly non-combustible shells. Here in Baja the 'bomberos' are truly a lazy bunch as there are few house fires to put out, focusing on cats stranded in trees, it seems.
An analyst on TV suggested that some of the arsonists in California are probably angry owners about to lose their house to foreclosure. This breed is unlikely to exist in a country where houses are built with cash.
Thanks, Mexico, for your school of realism, but don't you find it ironic that your Mexican sons in California have become the dominant landscapers, house framers, stick-builders and sheetrock applicators? Thanks also for helping consolidate with our Archimede Institute a few good arguments for the peculiar housing system we are about to build locally and export: low-cost prefabricated fire-proof ,earthquake and hurricane proof housing.