We are taking a giant leap here and offering an idea on how to save your own structures during one of these California brush fires....and there is a report of at least one person who prepared in advance - a former forestry school instructor from Syracuse who learned how to fight fires as well while living out west. He cut out the brush near his house and applied thermal gel to his home to prevent the flying embers from starting his home on fire. So far so good.
The question might reasonably be asked why other people with similarly expensive homes did not make the same investment of $326 for a case of fire resistant thermal gel concentrate and a 3/4 inch water hose - all premixed and ready to go. Maybe water pressure would drop or be low so having a water supply and/or a pump to boost the pressure would be in order.
You might equate this to a person living in Central New York having a snow blower and food on hand for the inevitable heavy winter storm.
This stuff has been around for years - one product is called Barricade. It is a hydrating polymer gel that creates a thermal barrier against fire and can satisfactorily applied on vertical surfaces (like your house) and made of metal, wood, stucco and glass. It can even be applied to fuel tanks, vegetation and your vehicle.
We have to ask just how many of those 1500 or so homes that were lost might have been saved if they had been treated prior to evacuation? Or if people stayed in place - when they could. People living in these areas might have benefited by learning some fire fighting skills like the professor and investing in some equipment.
Once again, self reliance, common sense and preparedness would have mitigated the losses.
Check out this Barricade Thermal Gel Product at this link....