There are risks everywhere. Elsewhere in the country, there are tornados, floods, hurricanes, drought, sub-zero winters. California has fertile soil and generally wonderful weather, making it excellent for agriculture. Where the farms are, there will be people. With its long coastline, it also draws anyone who loves the ocean. Recognizing and minimizing risk is the best we can do in life -- at least, until the super-earthquake shakes California loose from the rest of the country.
Yes, it is as safe to live in California as anywhere else. Wildfire is a risk everywhere except the sandiest deserts. California may have potential for earthquakes, but there are no tornadoes. There is also very low likelihood of flooding, unlike many locations in the south. In the end, there are risks everywhere you turn; it's only a matter of regional predisposition which one is most likely.
While I don't live in the Western United States and can't say for a fact that it is unsafe to live there, recent news on natural disasters makes me not want to live there. From wild fires to earth quakes to potential terrorist attacks, my first reaction is to stay away.
California has a steady supply of weather-related problems from droughts to mudslides and wide-ranging destructive fires and the threat of earthquakes. It's amazingly beautiful land, and pretty fertile, but the cost of living is astronomical and there are too many possible dangers from nature as well as man. I have relatives who won't ever leave, but it's too risky for me to want to move there.