Nearly 40% Of Utah Homes Face High Fire Risk

Nearly 40% Of Utah Homes Face High Fire Risk

Two out of every five homes in Utah face high fire risk this year while California’s pricey housing market would suffer the greatest financial losses from potential wildfire-fueled destruction, according to a new data report from Redfin Corp RDFN.

The Fiery Threat: Among the Western states, Utah’s housing market has the greatest fire risk, with 39.4% of homes in danger from wildfires. Colorado and Idaho ranked second and third place for this risk, with 19% and 14.4% respectively, while five other states — Oregon, Nevada, California, Washington and Arizona — each had less than 10% of their residential properties at risk. (Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming were not included in this analysis due to insufficient available data.)

Utah’s elevated threat level was attributed to having its three most populous cities — Salt Lake City, West Valley City and Provo — overlapping with its most at-risk areas for wildfire damage.

Redfin noted that other metro areas that have become increasingly popular as migration destinations and second-home vacation spots such as Bend, Oregon; Boise, Idaho and Lake Tahoe, California facing higher levels of fire risk.

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The Cost Of Damage: Redfin highlighted California faced the highest financial threat from fire risk with the state's expensive housing environment having the most property value in danger — $628 billion worth of homes — facing wreckage and ruin. Utah, in comparison, only has $220 billion of homes with high risk.

Complicating matters is California's large population — it is the densest state in the West — and its recent history of wildfires. Last year, the state experienced 10,431 fires that consumed 4.1 million acres, more than any other state and totaling nearly 40% of all the acreage that burned in 2020.

Not Getting Better: The National Interagency Fire Center determined 58,950 wildfires burned 10.1 million acres during 2020, which was the second-most acreage during any year since 1983. Redfin added as of June 29, there were 47 large, active fires burning across the Western states, with 17 in Arizona.

“The start of this year’s fire season coincides with a historic drought and staggering heat waves that have plagued dozens of Western cities,” the Redfin report said. “It hit 116 degrees Fahrenheit in Portland, Oregon on Monday, which broke the previous record of 112 set on Sunday. Sunday’s record broke the 108-degree high set on Saturday, which surpassed the prior 107-degree record set in 1965.”

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(Photo: Peter Hill / Flickr Creative Commons.)

Posted In: fire riskHousingproperty damageWestern stateswildfiresNewsReal Estate