Here are the top 10 areas most at risk for wildfire damage

Nearly 900,000 homes across 13 states in the western United States are at “very high” or “high” risk for wildfires, according to a new CoreLogic report. And the price to reconstruct those homes? More than $237 billion.

This value represents a considerable increase from the analytics and data provider’s 2013 report, which priced reconstruction costs for the at-risk homes at $189 billion.

The 2015 Wildfire Hazard Risk paper analyzes homes at risk for wildfire damage in 13 western U.S. states and assigns risk levels of “very high,” “high,” “moderate” and “low” to each property. Two additional categories, “urban” and “agriculture” designate homes of even lower risk, where a dense concentration of buildings or irrigated land are unlikely to enhance wildfires. Residences include single-family structures, mobile homes, duplexes, manufactured homes and other non-traditional dwellings.

California, Colorado and Texas have the largest number of properties designated “very high” risk, with a combined reconstruction value of $36 billion.

This year’s report also assigns a numerical risk score to each property, ranging from 1 to 100. This score indicates another level of susceptibility, as wildfire can easily travel from high-risk areas to adjacent properties in areas of lower risk.

When expanding the analysis to include the numeric scores, the number of properties at high risk (those ranked 81-100) grows to 1.1 million, with a reconstruction value of $268.5 billion, CoreLogic reports.

CoreLogic ranks more than 250 geographical areas by numerical score. Here are the top 10 areas with the most number of properties with the highest wildfire risk scores:

 

10. Houston/The Woodlands/Sugar Land, Texas

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 14,092

Home reconstruction value: $3,063,417,604

 

“Truckee California Railroad Station” photo by Steve Wilson

9. Truckee/Grass Valley, Calif.

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 14,671

Home reconstruction value: $4,945,547,724

8. Colorado Springs, Colo.

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 14,990

Home reconstruction value: $4,408,080,237

7. Chico, Calif.

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 15,103

Home reconstruction value: $3,754,593,902

6. Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 17,006

Home reconstruction value: $8,654,562,030

5. San Antonio/New Braunfels, Texas

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 31,350

Home reconstruction value:$7,097,211,479

 

4. Denver/Aurora/Lakewood, Colo.

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 35,174

Home reconstruction value: $10,807,628,461

 

3. Austin/Round Rock, Texas

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 35,807

Home reconstruction value: $9,019,956,767

2. Sacramento/Roseville/Arden/Arcade, Calif.

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 42,042

Home reconstruction value: $15,875,023,943

1. Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario, Calif.

Number of homes with the highest risk score: 50,605

Home reconstruction value: $14,805,549,511

 

Mar 17, 2015 | By Melissa Hillebrand

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