Search

More Virginia Homes At Risk From Wildfires


Hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding have always been risks for Virginia homeowners. For more than 50

years, homebuyers have been looking at a map outlining flood risks on sites like Redfin and Realtor.com. Thanks to increased drought conditions and global warming, a new map outlining wildfire risks has been created for homebuyers across the country who were previously in the dark about this risk.


Realtor.com and climate risk nonprofit First Street Foundation are launching a model that will assign a wildfire risk score to every listing on the Realtor.com website, which they say is the first metric to address wildfire concerns.


Virginians are not immune to wildfires, particularly in some of the western counties, and surprisingly in places like Virginia Beach and Gloucester County.


First Street Foundation, responsible for the flood risk maps currently in use, identified the need to create a similar map to address wildfire risk. The map shows not only the wildfire risk for properties across the lower 48 states, but also how that risk will change as the climate gets hotter.


"The results are going to be surprising for some folks, to say the least," says Matthew Eby, executive director of First Street Foundation. "What we see is that in some areas that risk will double, triple, quadruple. And in areas that really have high levels of risk already, like California, we see almost a 50% increase."


Real Estate experts do not expect knowing about wildfire risk to dissuade buyers, especially where housing is in short supply. But wildfire experts say that there are many steps homeowners can still take to make their homes safer, like trimming back flammable vegetation and using fire-resistant building materials, replacing flammable mulch with gravel, etc.


Wildfire is the Fastest Growing Economic Climate Risk


Flooding is the most expensive natural disaster in the United States, costing Americans more than $1 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1980. The costs associated with wildfires, however, have grown substantially over the past decade, and their potential financial costs are accelerating. The fire damage from 2020 alone was 16.6B, which sets the course for almost 3x the previous decade at a forecasted $166B for 2020-2029 if the trend continues. When droughts are matched with the predicted seasonal weather patterns, the conditions are ripe for widespread physical, financial, and emotional damage.



Virginia Counties at Risk


Not all counties across the Commonwealth have seen an increased risk of wildfire, but some have seen over 100% increases for fire. The following counties have increased risk values over 100%. To see all Virginia counties' wildfire risk status, click here.


PERCENT INCREASE IN BURN PROBABILITY BETWEEN 2022–2052

Buchanan County

+147%

Virginia Beach City

+130%

Accomack County

+127%

Chesapeake City

+116%

Scott County

+112%

Gloucester County

+110%

Page County

+107%

Greene County

+107%

Essex County

+103%

Franklin County

+100%

If you would like to find out specific information on a property, you can go to https://www.realtor.com/propertyrecord-search and research environmental risks as well as valuations from Core Logic, Quantarium, and Core Analytics.


 

Sources: Fortune, NPR, First Street Foundation Realtor.com


0 comments

Recent Posts

See All