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Wouldn’t inability to obtain home insurance stop people from rebuilding? Or do people who own these homes have so much money they are willing to go uninsured? If insurers are issuing policies for these highly flammable home sites, the underwriters need their heads examined–it’s a bad business bet.
Why? Because people like the scenic views and living close to populated areas with jobs! They like the idea of living in “the wilderness” with all the advantages of urban life.
David, I just found the original working paper. I haven’t read it yet but maybe it would answer your question? “Wildfire Risk, Salience and Housing Demand,”: http://randallwalsh.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Wui-On-Fire.pdf
An interesting story, that fails journalism 101=, to answer five basic questions…who what when where why. This story offers no WHY, no explanation for this phenomenon. A big gap.