The Private Firefighter Industry : Planet Money Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got a lot of blowback for using private firefighters to protect their California home from a wildfire. Today on The Indicator, the business of private firefighting.
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The Private Firefighter Industry

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The Private Firefighter Industry

The Private Firefighter Industry

The Private Firefighter Industry

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/736715592/736732225" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Constanza Gallardo
Chris Brandini and one of his trucks.
Constanza Gallardo

The wildfires that have been tearing through California almost every year have gotten bigger and more destructive and have stretched firefighting teams to their limits. At the same time, more high-end development has been going on in areas that are vulnerable to wildfires. All of this means more homes at risk of burning down.

Some insurers have responded by hiring private firefighting outfits to protect the homes they cover. Individuals have started hiring them, too.

Fire Break Protection Systems has three fire trucks with a 250 gallon tank and hose. Constanza Gallardo hide caption

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Constanza Gallardo

But the idea that wealthy people can protect their properties, while a lower income person's house is left to burn is contentious. Nevertheless, private firefighting firms are becoming a fact of life in California. Today on the Indicator, we look at why these firms exist and how they do their work.

Ryan Barbee is one of the firefighters employed with Fire Break Protection Systems. Constanza Gallardo hide caption

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Constanza Gallardo

Ryan Barbee is one of the firefighters employed with Fire Break Protection Systems.

Constanza Gallardo

Chris Brandini, Ken Kirk and Ryan Barbee chat with Stacey Vanek Smith outside of their office in Ventura County. Constanza Gallardo hide caption

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Constanza Gallardo

Chris Brandini, Ken Kirk and Ryan Barbee chat with Stacey Vanek Smith outside of their office in Ventura County.

Constanza Gallardo

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