More than 17 fires have charred more than 115,000 acres across California in the last 24 hours, leaving 15 people dead and more than 2,000 homes destroyed.
For some residents in San Diego County, this is something they have experienced firsthand--like Henry Joe, who lost his home in the Witch Creek Fire in 2007.
Joe has rebuilt his home but with significant changes.
"The eaves on the house are all covered. It wasn't covered before, they're all covered now," Joe said.
Prior to this, in 2003, the Cedar, Paradise and Otay fires destroyed thousands of homes, prompting changes to fire and building code requirements.
According to the county's Planning and Development Services Department, 2,137 homes were destroyed in those fires.
"The ’03 fires really set the stage for what was going to happen with new construction in San Diego," said Jason Larson with Lars Remodeling and Design.
The changes cover a wide range of construction parameters, from attic ventilation to roofing requirements.
"The old shake shingle roofing that we saw back in the 80’s, that’s all gone away. Now, everything is a Class-A roofing type, fire resistant composition shingles, tile roofing. So they’re really changing these codes to preserve structures and life," said Larson.
According to the county website which outlines fire and building code requirements, the measures adopted after the 2003 wildfires went into effect on Aug. 13, 2004.
Among the requirements, home exteriors must be built using non-combustible material like stucco, cement or heavy timber. Eaves must be fire resistant.
There are also tighter restrictions on attic vents installed in eave overhangs and window restrictions requiring welded metal corners to prevent the glass from falling out.
A complete list of county Fire and Building Code requirements can be found here.