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This Is the US City With the Highest Wildfire Risk

This Is the US City With the Highest Wildfire Risk

States like California in the U.S. see ash falling like rain annually due to wildfires. Alaska, known for its abundant wildlife had to close Denali National Park in Anchorage while crews fought a wildfire over the weekend. Residents of other states where the risk of wildfires is “very low” would be shocked to experience the ash coating on their vehicles if they’re in the path of a wildfire.

These weather-related events are brutal and unforgiving. FEMA has put together a Wildfire Risk Rating, which informs the general public, the government, and private businesses of the natural hazard risk associated with the area. With this information, the government can develop new standards, businesses can set up hazard mitigation plans, and homeowners and renters can put together their own emergency plans to keep their families, friends, and pets safe.

When calculating the expected annual loss of a wildfire, several factors come into play. The first is exposure, which refers to the value of buildings and the population. The second is the annualized frequency, which identifies how often a wildfire might occur per year. The third and last factor is the historic loss ratio, which is an estimation of lost value.

Together, these three factors inform the expected annual loss of wildfires each year. This same formula is used for other natural hazards (though the calculations are made independently). Wildfires occur in different environments, including prairies, shrub lands, grasslands, and forests. They can leave extensive damage in their wake—not just to wildlife but to the neighborhoods locals call home. (Also Read: This Is the Coastal City With the Greatest Risk of Flooding)

Methodology

To determine the cities with the highest wildfire risk, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on natural hazard risk for U.S. census tracts from the March 2023 FEMA National Risk Index dataset. Cities were ranked based on the average wildfire risk index score for all census tracts within their borders. Data were aggregated from the census tract level to the city level using spatial boundary definitions from the U.S. Census Bureau’s TIGER/Line program. Supplemental data on the total value of all owner-occupied homes and population are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Only places with at least 25,000 residents were considered.

50. Weston, FL

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock via Getty Images

Source: felixmizioznikov / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $10.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.5%
  • Total population: 68,029

49. Palm Bay, FL

Source: Jesse Kunerth / Shutterstock.com

Source: Jesse Kunerth / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $8.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.7%
  • Total population: 121,513

48. Clermont, FL

Source: Michael Warren / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Michael Warren / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +34.3%
  • Total population: 43,266

47. Redmond, OR

Source: Rex_Wholster / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Rex_Wholster / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +20.0%
  • Total population: 34,191

46. Lakewood Ranch, FL

Swamp Reserve in Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton FL
Source: colin_kai / Shutterstock.com

Source: colin_kai / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $7.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: NA
  • Total population: 34,346

45. Elk River, MN

Source: emholk / iStock via Getty Images

Source: emholk / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +8.4%
  • Total population: 25,936

44. Castle Rock, CO

Source: Robert Young / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Robert Young / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $12.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +29.3%
  • Total population: 74,065

43. Bentonville, AR

Source: Larry Fleury / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Larry Fleury / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +22.2%
  • Total population: 54,513

42. Immokalee, FL

Source: John Coletti / The Image Bank via Getty Images

Source: John Coletti / The Image Bank via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $0.6 million
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +8.0%
  • Total population: 27,753

41. Winter Garden, FL

Source: Wirestock / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Wirestock / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 92.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +14.0%
  • Total population: 46,518

40. Perris, CA

Source: MattGush / iStock via Getty Images

Source: MattGush / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 93.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.2%
  • Total population: 78,881

39. Bluffton, SC

Source: Donna Brooks / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Donna Brooks / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 93.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +71.1%
  • Total population: 29,375

38. Big Spring, TX

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 93.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $0.8 million
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -8.2%
  • Total population: 25,949

37. Poinciana, FL

Poinciana. Florida. USA on a map
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 93.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +4.3%
  • Total population: 69,311

36. Drexel Heights, AZ

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 93.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +7.3%
  • Total population: 30,254

35. Carson City, NV

Source: Bill_Dally / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Bill_Dally / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 94.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +7.4%
  • Total population: 58,249

34. Hesperia, CA

Source: sanfel / iStock via Getty Images

Source: sanfel / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 94.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +7.2%
  • Total population: 99,878

33. Apple Valley, CA

Source: sanfel / iStock via Getty Images

Source: sanfel / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 94.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +5.1%
  • Total population: 75,603

32. Eagle, ID

Source: knowlesgallery / iStock via Getty Images

Source: knowlesgallery / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 94.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $7.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +29.2%
  • Total population: 30,635

31. Buckeye, AZ

Source: Cavan Images / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Cavan Images / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 94.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $8.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +53.1%
  • Total population: 95,042

30. San Jacinto, CA

Source: magaro / iStock via Getty Images

Source: magaro / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 94.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +15.2%
  • Total population: 54,077

29. New Smyrna Beach, FL

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images

Source: Jupiterimages / PHOTOS.com>> via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 94.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +21.3%
  • Total population: 30,449

28. Weatherford, TX

Source: Image by Erik Pronske Photography / Moment via Getty Images

Source: Erik Pronske Photography / Moment via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +11.6%
  • Total population: 32,168

27. Cedar City, UT

Source: Speedway1 / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Speedway1 / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +18.5%
  • Total population: 35,812

26. Prescott Valley, AZ

Source: Althom / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Source: Althom / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.0%
  • Total population: 47,015

25. Oro Valley, AZ

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $7.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +9.7%
  • Total population: 47,053

24. Herriman, UT

Source: Jeremy Christensen / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Jeremy Christensen / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.1/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $7.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +73.0%
  • Total population: 55,301

23. Haines City, FL

Source: Donald Sykes / 500px / 500px via Getty Images

Source: Donald Sykes / 500px / 500px via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +26.7%
  • Total population: 28,922

22. Yucaipa, CA

Source: Solidago / Getty Images

Source: Solidago / Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +2.4%
  • Total population: 54,428

21. Four Corners, FL

Source: aileen kang / 500px / 500px via Getty Images

Source: aileen kang / 500px / 500px via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +51.0%
  • Total population: 56,537

20. Adelanto, CA

Source: Steve Proehl / The Image Bank via Getty Images

Source: Steve Proehl / The Image Bank via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 95.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +15.5%
  • Total population: 37,960

19. West Odessa, TX

Source: Rex_Wholster / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Rex_Wholster / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 96.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $1.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +19.9%
  • Total population: 30,904

18. Fish Hawk, FL

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 96.2/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +42.3%
  • Total population: 25,179

17. Lake Elsinore, CA

Source: Natalia Leen / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Natalia Leen / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 96.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.8 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +12.5%
  • Total population: 69,993

16. Marana, AZ

Source: Tamah Donaldson / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Tamah Donaldson / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 96.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +25.9%
  • Total population: 52,542

15. Prescott, AZ

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 96.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $7.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +11.1%
  • Total population: 46,054

14. Butte-Silver Bow, MT

Source: csfotoimages / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Source: csfotoimages / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 96.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.7 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.0%
  • Total population: 34,638

13. French Valley, CA

Source: Timothy S. Allen / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Timothy S. Allen / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 97.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +31.5%
  • Total population: 41,239

12. El Dorado Hills, CA

Then And Now: California's Drought Officially Declared To Be Over
Source: Getty Images / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 97.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $13.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +8.8%
  • Total population: 49,082

11. Sahuarita, AZ

Source: Simply Beautiful Photos / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Simply Beautiful Photos / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 97.7/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.2 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +21.2%
  • Total population: 34,238

10. Kingman, AZ

Source: Gregory Clifford / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Gregory Clifford / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 97.9/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +14.5%
  • Total population: 33,052

9. St. George, UT

Source: Ljexter / Shutterstock.com

Source: Ljexter / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 98.4/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $11.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +20.2%
  • Total population: 96,174

8. Temescal Valley, CA

Source: HadelProductions / iStock via Getty Images

Source: HadelProductions / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 98.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.1 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +11.1%
  • Total population: 28,227

7. Wildomar, CA

Wildomar. California. USA on a map
Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com

Source: SevenMaps / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 98.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +3.7%
  • Total population: 36,822

6. Fallbrook, CA

Source: Jason Finn / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Jason Finn / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 98.8/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.9 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +8.3%
  • Total population: 33,710

5. Horizon West, FL

Tropical Cyclone | Palm trees blowing in a tropical storm
Source: ZargonDesign / E+ via Getty Images

Source: ZargonDesign / E+ via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 99.0/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $6.0 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +131.0%
  • Total population: 58,595

4. Eagle Mountain, UT

Phone 009 by Staplegunther
Source: Staplegunther / Public Domain

  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 99.3/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $4.4 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +66.0%
  • Total population: 46,109

3. Beaumont, CA

Source: Aaron Echols / iStock via Getty Images

Source: Aaron Echols / iStock via Getty Images
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 99.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $5.5 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +22.7%
  • Total population: 53,544

2. Washington, UT

Source: Raymond Shobe / Wikimedia Commons

Source: Raymond Shobe / Wikimedia Commons
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 99.5/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $3.6 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: +20.3%
  • Total population: 29,161

1. Banning, CA

Source: BZK Photos / Shutterstock.com

Source: BZK Photos / Shutterstock.com
  • FEMA wildfire risk index score: 99.6/100
  • Total value of owner-occupied homes: $2.3 billion
  • Population change, 2017 to 2022: -2.9%
  • Total population: 29,929
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