A buyer checks out a variety of details before buying a house. Even what kind of natural disasters like earthquakes, and floods is that area prone to. But when it comes to wildfires people have no clue.
A wildfire tool to calculate risk was such a necessity. Considering wildfires before buying a house in past wasn’t the case. But now you’ve got to factor in these outlandish scenarios.
Thousands of homes are destroyed by wildfires every year. It happens because most people who move receive little or no information about the place they’re moving to.
How can you get information about wildfires?
If you are paying your hard-earned money then you’re going to make sure it’s not a pile of ashes by the end of your 30-year mortgage. A New York nonprofit research group First Street Foundation released a free online tool.
The tool helps in mapping out the likelihood of wildfires by address in the U.S. Properties across the lower 48 states to be precise. It shows the risk of Wildfires and will change as the climate gets hotter.
The services exclude Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and other territories. It also helps in mapping floods and all this information will be available on realtor.com. While the U.S. government tracks flood risk down at the property level, the website currently does not do the same for wildfires.
How will it work?
They have made a detailed YouTube video and made information available on their website. They said along with taking data sets from the past they can also predict potential wildfires in the future.
The model uses Forest services and weather conditions data from 2011 to 2021. And then uses the standard RCP 4.5 carbon emissions scenario of approximately 2 degrees temperature rise. It is done to see how bad things could get over the upcoming years.
Reports say that over 30 million properties are at risk of getting caught in wildfires. While 20 million have a “moderate” risk and another 6 million are at a “major” risk.
There are some existing tools like the USDA Forest service’s wildfire risk assessment available. But they are solely designed to understand the varying risk on a state or regional level. Homeowners cannot use it to evaluate their personal risk said Dr. Ed Kearns, chief data officer at First Street.
Are wildfires getting common?
Wildfire has become quite common over the years. It dangerously spreads from heavily forested areas to more populous urban and suburban environments. A wind-whipped, fast-moving fire engulfed a subdivision in Louisville, Colo., last year.
This year can really be called “wildfire year” as it already got off with a rough start. Among the dozen or so fires in the U.S. southwest and Texas includes the enormous 289,000-acre Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak mega-fire raging in New Mexico.
It does not seem to be getting contained anytime soon. According to the National Wildlife Coordinating Group, it can be until the end of July till the fires are contained. States like Oregon, a usually temperate state, will soon require workplaces to teach employees about what to do during Wildfires.