Homeowners in Utah – America's fastest-growing state – area facing a huge fire risk, according to a new report.
In fact, two in every five homes, about 39%, are in danger of burning down, according to Redfin's analysis of county property records and risk scores from climate-data startup ClimateCheck.
This is equivalent to 411,052 homes in Utah, a state which has seen its population surge over the past decade to 3.3 million, according to the report. In 2020 alone, Utah faced 1,493 fires which collectively burned about 329,735 acres.
According to the data, Utah didn't have the most fires or acreage burned but it has a "relatively high share of properties at risk—likely because the state’s most populous cities overlap with its most at-risk areas."
However, Ryan Aycock, Redfin’s market manager in Salt Lake City, noted that the state faces a lot of "near misses."
"There will be a fire warning, and then the fire isn’t as bad as people feared. It’s a bit of a boy-who-cried-wolf situation," said Aycock. "A lot of folks could be caught flat-footed if a major fire does hit their community."
To date, Utah has the largest share of homes facing high fire risk compared to any other Western U.S. state in the report. However, Colorado and Idaho are right behind with 19% and 14.4% of properties at high risk, respectively, according to the report.
Comparatively, less than 10% of homes in Oregon, Nevada, California, Washington and Arizona have a high fire risk.
Redfin couldn't compile percentages of homes facing a high fire risk in Montana, Wyoming and New Mexico due to a lack of sufficient data. Still, Redfin noted that homes in the aforementioned states "face substantial fire risk."
In terms of monetary losses, though, California will take the biggest hit because "home values in California are relatively high," according to the report.
About $628 billion worth of homes in the state is facing high fire risk, according to Redfin. Meanwhile, $220 billion worth of homes in Utah and Colorado are facing high fire risk. Every other state on the list has less than $75 billion of property at risk.