Experts say the 2020 wildfire season in the U.S. will likely set a new record for the most acres of land burned. Smoky skies, poor air quality and the COVID-19 pandemic are adding to the challenges of this year’s wildfire season.
Almost two million homes are at “extreme risk” of wildfires that are currently raging across the western U.S., according to a new “Wildfire Report” released by CoreLogic this week.
The report notes that: “As the U.S. population increases and residential development extends farther from metro areas, more homes and business will face the threat of wildfires.”
In the past two years, 96% of the total number of acres burnt by wildfires in the U.S. were centered in 13 western states, plus Florida and Alaska, the report said. California has been the hardest hit state, with more than one million acres of land burned in 2017 and 2018.
CoreLogic said Los Angeles is the metro area that’s most at risk from wildfires, followed by Riverside, California; San Diego, Sacramento, California; Austin, Texas; San Francisco, Denver, Thousand Oaks, California; Truckee, California; and San Antonio.
“Wildfire will continue to threaten homeownership and endanger people’s physical and financial livelihoods,” CoreLogic’s researchers said. “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.”
CoreLogic recommends that homeowners insure themselves against wildfire losses, and that they should confirm the value of their home to ensure it has been accurately assessed by their insurer. Also, homeowners may want to consider implementing more fire-resistant materials in their homes to protect them from damage.