Report: Wildfires Put 2 Million Homes at Extreme Risk

October 1, 2020

The 2020 wildfire season will likely set the record for the most acres burned. Smoky skies, poor air quality and the COVID-19 pandemic are adding to the challenges of this year’s wildfire season.

Wildfires raging across the Western region of the U.S. are putting nearly 2 million homes at extreme risk of property losses, according to CoreLogic’s recently released “Wildfire Report.”

“As the U.S. population increases and residential development extends farther from metro areas, more homes and businesses will face the threat of wildfires,” the report notes.

Over the past two years, about 96% of the total acres burned in the U.S. were centered in 13 Western states plus Florida and Alaska, according to the report. California has been the hardest hit in recent years. More than 1 million acres burned in the Golden State in 2017 and 2018.

Map showing fire risk across the nation. Visit source link at the end of this article for more information.

© CoreLogic

The top 10 metro areas at high risk and with the greatest potential of loss from wildfires are:

  • Los Angeles
  • Riverside, Calif.
  • San Diego
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Austin, Texas
  • San Francisco
  • Denver
  • Thousand Oaks, Calif.
  • Truckee, Calif.
  • San Antonio

“Wildfire will continue to threaten homeownership and endanger people’s physical and financial livelihoods,” researchers say in the report. “Understanding this risk is critical to reducing it. As neighborhoods push further into wildland areas, the ways in which humans build towards beautiful but deadly undeveloped wildfire-prone land only amplifies the climatological and terrain-related risk factors that already exist.”

Homeowners will want to make sure they are insured against losses. CoreLogic urges homeowners and insurers to confirm the value of their homes and ensure they have been accurately assessed. Also, owners will want to regularly reevaluate the reconstruction value of their home, because construction costs can rise.

Source: 
Wildfire Report,” CoreLogic (September 2020) and “Wildfires Put Nearly 2 Million Homes at Extreme Risk of Property Losses,” Forbes.com (Sept. 30, 2020)