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New study: Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties facing heightened wildfire risk

From Staff and Wire Reports, Marin Independent Journal, May 17, 2022

“Nearly 80 million properties across the country are at risk from wildfires, according to a first-of-its-kind study that tries to calculate how widespread the threat has become as climate change stokes the danger.

“[The study] places Marin among the top three counties that face the largest increase in wildfire risk to homes. Sonoma County ranked No. 1, followed by Napa County.

“[T]he nonprofit First Street Foundation released the nationwide wildfire risk assessment— a massive trove of data that will be integrated into, so that prospective buyers can see what the fire risk is for any given property.

“In the Bay Area, many communities were listed as low risk, although the hills in the East Bay, particularly around areas such as Dublin, San Ramon, Blackhawk, Livermore, and Walnut Creek, were considered high risk, along with parts of Solano County, like Fairfield and Vacaville.

“Despite the drumbeat of headlines about wildfires from Colorado to New Mexico to California, the First Street study found the state with the most addresses at risk now was Florida. But California will vault into the lead over the next 30 years, the study said.

“Craig Clements, director of San Jose State University’s Fire Weather Lab, said he was surprised that Santa Rosa, which has been devastated by wildfires in recent years, was listed as low risk, as were forests around the northern edges of Lake Tahoe and most of the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

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