The blazes around Los Angeles hadn’t even been fully extinguished last week before the call went out for more regulations. No surprise there. Regulations are about the only things that spread faster than wildfires around here.

After about 500 mobile homes were destroyed in Sylmar, you knew what was coming. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors didn’t disappoint us. On Tuesday, they directed fire officials to prepare recommendations to change building codes for mobile homes.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky reportedly said he’s in favor of the state requiring that mobile homes be built with more fire-retardant materials and that mobile homes not be situated closely together.

OK, let’s step back and think for a moment. Why do people buy mobile homes? It’s the low price, right?

I spent a few minutes searching the want ads. Prices are all over, but one fairly standard model gives you two bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,440 square feet, and used ones run in the $40,000 to $50,000 range. That’s roughly $30 or so a square foot.

Even if you upgraded and spent two or three times as much, it’d still represent cheap living in high-dollar Los Angeles, where a per-square-foot cost of a single-family detached house easily can be $200 or $300 or more. Granted, the cost of the mobile home is only part of the expense. The buyer must have land on which to put his unit. But he has a choice. He can go to a pricier place that will give him a generous lot, or he can rent a cheaper space and get his unit jammed in among his neighbors.

Now the econo route may not be the one you’d choose. But think of the benefits to someone else, such as a working-class person, perhaps a recently divorced man or single woman. For them, yard space may be irrelevant, unwanted even. They’d have a good amount of interior space at a low cost. Maybe the mobile home community would be much closer to work than a single-family home that’s two area codes and three Sigalerts away. Sure, they may be able to reach out and touch the next unit, but they may prefer that to a shared wall in an apartment building. Besides, the mobile home owners would be building a little equity.

Mobile homes lined up close together pose a greater fire hazard, of course. But adults make decisions all the time about what they regard as acceptable trade offs. For some, especially for those who feel their earthly possessions are of little value, the aforementioned benefits may well offset the slightly greater risk from fire. For them, maybe it’s a no brainer.

Now, let’s think a minute about what the proposed regulations will do. The requirement that mobile homes be built with more fire-resistant materials will force the manufacturers to raise the price of those units for Californians. Likewise, if mobile home communities in Los Angeles are required to space the units further apart, those communities must charge their tenants more.

Actually, that’s so simple it didn’t take a minute.

If the regulations are too heavy handed, the low-cost mobile home option for many of L.A.’s lower-income folks may become a more expensive option.

This is not necessarily to bag on Yaroslavsky. Politicians around here are hard wired to reflexively regulate whenever there’s some tragedy.

But this is a plea to those in the political class who are carrying out these regulations: Please do so in a way that’s sensitive to costs. Don’t force businesses to raise their prices much and, in turn, take away a low-cost option for L.A.’s working class.