- California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, and New Mexico top the list
- The report by CoreLogic examines property-related wildfire risk
- Wildfires commonly affect the Western U.S., but climate change and the region’s severe drought of recent years has only exacerbated the issue
Florida and four Western states are at the most risk for wildfire damages in 2022, according to a new report released Thursday.
CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its annual Wildfire Report for 2022. The study examines property-related wildfire risk alongside reconstruction resource availability, temporary housing capacity for displaced individuals, and community economic recovery potential among fire-prone regions.
CoreLogic tracks wildfire risks in 15 Western U.S. states and Florida. The 2022 report accompanies worrisome trends in wildfire-prone California, which is grappling not only with prolonged drought conditions, but also with firefighter shortages. The Golden State employed about 25% fewer of these crucial first responders in the summer of 2022 than initially projected, amounting to 1,300 unfilled jobs.
Florida, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico round out the top five other riskiest housing markets for wildfire damages. Two counties in Colorado and New Mexico have particularly concerning wildfire damage risks, given the number of homes that could be impacted. In Colorado’s El Paso County – the state’s most heavily populated and home to Colorado Springs – a wildfire could affect 39,000 homes,. New Mexico’s Santa Fe County has an even greater percentage of risk, given it is much smaller.
Wildfires commonly affect the Western U.S., but climate change and the region’s severe drought of recent years has only exacerbated the issue. Over the past decade, CoreLogic data found that wildfires burned an average of 6.8 million acres per year, with that number topping 10 million acres in three of those years.
“Consuming thousands of homes in the U.S. every year, wildfires present a real and present threat to our families and communities. Mitigating this risk will require commitment from homeowners, first responders, insurers and regulators. A first step in achieving the resilient communities we seek is to quantify what is at risk,” said Tom Larsen, senior director of Insurance solutions at CoreLogic.
CoreLogic used its Wildfire Risk model to identify a 1-in-50-year fire scenario in each of the 14 wildfire-prone states (15 western U.S. states plus Florida) to understand how many homes would be at risk of being damaged in a wildfire at least once in 50 years (the average length to which residential homes are built to last, via building codes). CoreLogic compared the number of homes at risk of damage from a 1-in-50-year fire (an extreme event) to the total housing stock in each state to determine the communities that have the most economic risk from wildfire.
The view the full CoreLogic 2022 Wildfire Report, including maps, charts and analysis, click here.