Discover Where Americans are most at risk for wildfires

In the United States, certain regions face a significantly higher risk of wildfires. The areas most at risk are largely influenced by climatic conditions, urban expansion, and geographical factors. Recent studies and reports provide insight into the regions where Americans are most vulnerable to wildfires:

  1. California: California is the state most at risk for wildfires in the U.S. It has a substantially higher number of properties at risk compared to other states, with over 2 million properties identified as being in high to extreme risk areas. The state’s long stretches of arid climate and minimal rainfall contribute to these high risk levels. Wildfires in California have been responsible for extensive damage, affecting homes, communities, and resulting in billions of dollars in losses​​​​.
  2. Western States: Apart from California, other Western states like Nevada and Arizona are also highly susceptible to wildfires. These areas, characterized by arid climates and less frequent rain, have faced devastating wildfires that grow quickly and cause significant damage. Urban sprawl and climate change are additional factors that increase the likelihood and frequency of wildfires in these regions​​.
  3. Eastern United States: While the Western U.S. has traditionally been the focus for wildfire concerns, there is an increasing trend of wildfires in the Eastern U.S. This includes areas across the southern and eastern portions of the Eastern Temperate Forests, which extend from Michigan in the north to the eastern half of Texas in the south. The Eastern U.S. has the most expansive wildland-urban interface in the country, putting it at high risk for wildfires. Increasing trends in wildfire numbers, size of events, total hectares burned, and shifts in seasonality have been noted in this region​​.
  4. Other States at Risk: Following California, states like Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho are also among the top regions at risk for wildfires in the U.S., based on the number of properties in extreme risk areas. Texas, with less than 717,800 at-risk properties, ranks second after California, followed by Colorado, Arizona, and Idaho​​.

The risk of wildfires in these areas is influenced by a combination of factors including climate change, human activities, and natural vegetation patterns. The increasing trend of wildfires across various U.S. regions highlights the need for proactive management and preparedness, especially in the face of changing climatic conditions and expanding urban interfaces.