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1 in 6 Americans live in areas with significant wildfire risk

Washington Post: “When a wildfire tore through drought-stricken towns near Boulder, Colo., late last year, it reminded Americans that fire risk is changing. It didn’t matter that it was winter. It didn’t matter that many of the more than 1,000 homes and other structures lost sat in suburban subdivisions, not forested enclaves. The old rules no longer applied. A new analysis reveals for the first time that a broad swath of the country, not typically associated with wildfires, is already under threat. Nearly 80 million properties in the United States stand a significant chance of exposure to fire, according to a model built by the nonprofit First Street Foundation. In the next few decades, many people will face greater danger than they do now. A Washington Post analysis of the group’s data found that an estimated 16 percent of the country’s population today lives in hazardous areas. Over the next 30 years, that share will increase to 21 percent. Nearly half of all Americans who live in areas vulnerable to fire will reside in the South, and minorities face a disproportionate risk…” [users may enter their zip code to identify how many properties face fire risk in your area]

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