CoreLogic: Wildfires Pose Big Risk to 900,000 Western U.S. Homes

February 26, 2015  - By 0 Comments

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Data Reveals Homes Most at Risk in California, Colorado and Texas

According to new data released today by CoreLogic, nearly 900,000 single-family homes across 13 states in the western U.S. are currently designated at “High” or “Very High risk for wildfire damage, representing a combined total reconstruction value estimated at more than $237 billion. Of the total homes identified, just over 192,000 homes fall into the “Very High Risk” category alone, with total reconstruction cost valued at more than $49.6 billion.

The CoreLogic Wildfire Risk analysis designates risk levels as “Very High,” “High,” “Moderate” and “Low.”

Two additional categories, “Urban” and “Agriculture” indicate homes at even lower risk. Homes designated as “Urban” are located in areas with a dense concentration of buildings and infrastructure to such an extent that little natural vegetation exists to support a wildfire. Homes designated as “Agriculture” are located in areas comprised of row crops, orchards/vineyards or other specific land use that is typically irrigated. Even if it is not irrigated, the crops are nourished and healthy with no ground litter present, and therefore, the vegetation is unlikely to support or enhance a wildfire.

The analysis also assigns a numeric risk score to each property, ranging from 1 to 100. This separate score indicates the level of susceptibility to wildfire, as well as the risk associated with the property being located in close proximity to another high-risk property or area. The score designation is important since wildfire can easily expand to adjacent properties and cause significant damage even if that property was not originally considered high risk.

When expanding the analysis to include the numeric score, more than 1.1 million homes fall under the highest Wildfire Risk Score segment (81-100), representing a combined potential reconstruction value of more than $268.5 billion.

 

Total U.S. Properties at Risk and Reconstruction Values by Risk Category

Wildfire Risk Level Total Properties Reconstruction Cost
Very High 192,242 $49,608,484,867
High 704,860 $187,661,388,760
Moderate 1,351,313 $292,811,373,342
Low 1,378,104 $334,120,053,463
Agriculture 993,580 $244,167,729,666
Urban 23,778,799 $6,094,873,170,789
Total: 28,398,898 $7,203,242,200,887

 

Total U.S. Properties at Risk and Reconstruction Values by Numeric Risk Score

Wildfire Risk Score (1-100) Total Properties Reconstruction Cost
81-100 1,101,131 $268,549,008,333
61-80 1,193,814 $338,395,410,748
51-60 487,013 $131,081,392,801
1-50 25,616,940 $6,465,216,389,005
Total: 28,398,898 $7,203,242,200,887

The states most commonly associated with wildfires also contain the most properties at risk — California, Colorado and Texas have the largest number of residential properties categorized as “Very High Risk,” with a combined reconstruction value exceeding $36 billion. Including homes located in the “High Risk” category, the reconstruction value is more than $188 billion for these three states. When analyzed by risk score, 816,515 homes with reconstruction costs valued at more than $206.5 billion fall into the highest risk segment of 81-100.

Limiting the evaluation to property-level risk strictly in the “Very High” category, California tops the list of states analyzed with a total of 50,905 homes falling into that group. Comparatively, when assigning the Wildfire Risk Score, Texas takes the top spot with 451,848 homes scoring in the 81-100 highest-risk range.

 

Total Properties at Risk by State and Risk Category

State Low Moderate High Very High Agriculture Urban Total
AZ 43,273 4,443 8,488 8,089 5,332 1,910,771 1,980,396
CA 221,104 169,468 255,023 50,905 146,013 8,208,625 9,051,138
CO 70,935 38,628 50,009 49,667 66,876 1,482,352 1,758,467
ID 37,352 22,968 15,197 11,078 86,542 384,018 557,155
MT 60,588 18,903 9,601 10,218 22,516 194,927 316,753
NV 17,845 20,520 8,653 281 3,166 816,975 867,440
NM 55,969 19,554 25,766 9,481 16,200 483,282 610,252
OK 165,009 88,642 187 0 33,225 968,210 1,255,273
OR 37,137 41,160 51,872 13,788 157,749 938,664 1,240,370
TX 332,766 829,457 261,855 35,016 175,691 5,960,221 7,595,006
UT 11,185 13,590 3,441 68 31,825 681,016 741,125
WA 308,066 72,069 12,509 1,997 219,334 1,625,394 2,239,369
WY 16,875 11,911 2,259 1,654 29,111 124,344 186,154
Total 1,378,104 1,351,313 704,860 192,242 993,580 23,778,799 28,398,898

 

Reconstruction Values by State and Risk Category

State Low Moderate High Very High Agriculture Urban Total
AZ $9,641,256,308 $976,410,271 $1,758,550,435 $1,572,563,175 $1,143,819,360 $366,495,664,312 $381,588,263,861
CA $75,842,726,208 $61,916,244,431 $89,354,295,530 $16,103,052,587 $49,993,071,641 $2,787,437,974,226 $3,080,650,364,623
CO $18,625,174,701 $11,531,765,722 $14,580,510,822 $13,914,663,160 $17,325,198,320 $341,298,432,193 $417,275,744,918
ID $9,201,487,848 $5,563,694,301 $3,712,505,829 $2,620,564,770 $19,821,299,748 $81,602,075,191 $122,521,627,687
MT $14,629,451,956 $4,430,244,606 $2,287,179,138 $2,395,322,719 $5,408,564,612 $40,511,274,596 $69,662,037,627
NV $4,236,711,357 $5,193,363,455 $4,565,346,511 $164,097,900 $804,282,891 $209,146,367,671 $224,110,169,785
NM $11,654,726,259 $4,622,802,292 $7,067,786,311 $2,461,741,365 $3,238,850,020 $98,567,625,878 $127,613,532,125
OK $31,924,967,489 $16,773,531,745 $32,840,233 $0 $6,781,088,763 $175,933,722,480 $231,446,150,710
OR $8,237,043,811 $9,489,672,570 $11,913,602,274 $3,198,334,352 $37,257,178,708 $213,002,484,645 $283,095,316,360
TX $59,531,714,789 $147,682,544,644 $48,259,080,738 $6,333,237,927 $32,857,921,476 $1,201,265,765,342 $1,495,930,264,916
UT $2,849,584,240 $3,928,155,203 $768,151,716 $14,155,093 $8,343,607,261 $157,244,129,873 $173,147,783,386
WA $84,067,607,674 $18,078,389,368 $2,876,053,207 $505,435,568 $54,701,823,116 $397,645,668,540 $557,874,977,473
WY $3,677,600,823 $2,624,554,734 $485,486,016 $325,316,251 $6,491,023,750 $24,721,985,842 $38,325,967,416
Total $334,120,053,463 $292,811,373,342 $187,661,388,760 $49,608,484,867 $244,167,729,666 $6,094,873,170,789 $7,203,242,200,887

 

Total Properties at Risk by State and Numerical Risk Score

State 1-50 51-60 61-80 81-100 Total
AZ 1,919,351 14,308 27,159 19,578 1,980,396
CA 8,286,708 133,654 367,457 263,319 9,051,138
CO 1,454,787 52,823 122,509 128,348 1,758,467
ID 476,310 9,554 27,868 43,423 557,155
MT 243,990 13,114 27,301 32,348 316,753
NV 848,682 2,337 9,184 7,237 867,440
NM 523,755 14,487 32,139 39,871 610,252
OK 1,250,888 1,431 2,219 735 1,255,273
OR 1,091,300 22,616 46,655 79,799 1,240,370
TX 6,458,363 197,548 487,247 451,848 7,595,006
UT 693,256 14,713 24,311 8,845 741,125
WA 2,192,567 8,662 17,001 21,139 2,239,369
WY 176,983 1,766 2,764 4,641 186,154
Total 25,616,940 487,013 1,193,814 1,101,131 28,398,898

 

Reconstruction Values by State and Numerical Risk Score

State 1-50 51-60 61-80 81-100 Total
AZ $369,191,090,202 $2,781,562,044 $5,612,822,008 $4,002,789,607 $381,588,263,861
CA $2,785,871,424,591 $53,258,974,686 $153,067,995,013 $88,448,970,333 $3,080,647,364,623
CO $333,552,521,110 $13,769,558,737 $33,846,313,158 $36,107,351,913 $417,275,744,918
ID $102,894,072,845 $2,426,687,082 $6,899,872,812 $10,300,994,948 $122,521,627,687
MT $52,685,950,526 $2,997,541,855 $6,338,603,322 $7,639,941,924 $69,662,037,627
NV $216,436,292,731 $624,126,373 $3,860,921,144 $3,188,829,537 $224,110,169,785
NM $105,891,175,664 $3,334,262,905 $7,919,619,903 $10,468,473,653 $127,613,532,125
OK $230,716,181,496 $235,452,854 $370,084,424 $124,431,936 $231,446,150,710
OR $248,596,738,298 $5,247,235,235 $11,061,921,922 $18,192,420,905 $283,098,316,360
TX $1,276,614,038,497 $39,753,699,730 $97,535,512,589 $82,027,014,100 $1,495,930,264,916
UT $159,359,659,455 $4,309,214,977 $7,363,299,947 $2,115,609,007 $173,147,783,386
WA $547,066,785,312 $1,964,631,216 $3,905,374,051 $4,938,186,894 $557,874,977,473
WY $36,340,458,278 $378,445,107 $613,070,455 $993,993,576 $38,325,967,416
Total $6,465,216,389,005 $131,081,392,801 $338,395,410,748 $268,549,008,333 $7,203,242,200,887

 

At the CBSA (Core Based Statistical Area) level, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. ranks first for the most number of homes at “Very High” risk out of the 258 CBSAs analyzed. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. comes in a close second, followed by Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif.

When ranking CBSAs based on Wildfire Risk Score, Riverside-San-Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., takes the top spot for the most number of homes that fall under the highest risk segment of 81-100, followed by Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif., and Austin-Round Rock, Texas.

 

Top 10 CBSAs Ranked by Homes at Very High Risk

CBSA Very High # Homes Home Reconstruction Value
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 17,860 $5,358,513,217
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 14,249 $4,233,998,840
Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA 9,698 $3,351,781,562
Bend-Redmond, OR 9,128 $2,328,466,791
Colorado Springs, CO 7,296 $2,086,189,220
Durango, CO 6,052 $1,776,710,340
Fort Collins, CO 4,609 $903,336,600
Truckee-Grass Valley, CA 4,569 $1,430,020,245
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 4,219 $917,157,644
Flagstaff, AZ 4,109 $753,176,500

 

Top 10 CBSAs Ranked by Numerical Risk Score

CBSA 81-100 Risk Score Home Reconstruction Value
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 50,605 $14,805,549,511
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA 42,042 $15,875,023,943
Austin-Round Rock, TX 35,807 $9,019,956,767
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 35,174 $10,807,628,461
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 31,350 $7,097,211,479
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 17,006 $8,654,562,030
Chico, CA 15,103 $3,754,593,902
Colorado Springs, CO 14,990 $4,408,080,237
Truckee-Grass Valley, CA 14,671 $4,945,547,724
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 14,092 $3,063,417,604

*Additional CBSA-level data may be available upon request.

 

To enhance accuracy, the CoreLogic wildfire analysis has been expanded from prior annual analyses to encompass additional categories of single-family residential structures including mobile homes, duplexes, manufactured homes and cabins, among other non-traditional home types. The values represent estimates of reconstruction costs, taking into account labor and materials, and are based on 100-percent or total destruction of the residential structure. Depending upon the size of the wildfire, there may be less than 100-percent damage to the residence, which would result in a lower realized reconstruction cost.

 

This article is tagged with and posted in Featured Stories, GIS News, Uncategorized
Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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