The Sacramento region has among the highest number of homes at risk of damage from wildfires in the United States, according to an annual analysis.
Real estate research and data firm CoreLogic's "Wildfire Risk Report" out Thursday ranks Sacramento fourth in the country when it comes to the high density of homes located in areas susceptible to wildfires. Los Angeles is first, Riverside second and San Diego third.
CoreLogic’s Tom Jeffrey says the ranking isn’t representative of the city of Sacramento, as the metro area includes El Dorado and Placer counties, which are tied economically to Sacramento.
"Obviously, the city itself has very low risk for the most part,” he said. “Only when you move far to the east of central Sacramento do you actually get into an area where there's going to be some risk."
To calculate a metro area's "wildfire risk," CoreLogic looked at fuels, terrain, fire history, number of homes, and what it would cost to completely rebuild those homes after a fire. Sacramento's high-extreme risk residence count is just over 68,000. And the reconstruction cost value for those homes is $27.5 billion.
The cost of completely rebuilding those homes puts Sacramento ahead of other areas, including Truckee; Redding; Austin, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jeffery says he doesn't think this data will have a dramatic impact on real estate prices because people still want to live in scenic, natural areas even though there's a high risk of fire.
“I'm not entirely sure that this is going to have a dramatic impact on real estate prices because simply put, people are going to live where they actually perceive the environment around them to be the area that they want to live in," he said.
The study found that California overall has nearly 406,000 homes in high-risk areas, and that it would cost about $190 billion to completely rebuild those homes after a destructive fire.