Opinion: Florida to face more frequent wildfires

Toni Koraza

Florida may face more frequent wildfires in the upcoming years, based on an annual Wildfire Report released Thursday.

Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico were named alongside Florida as the riskiest housing markets for wildfire damages in the upcoming years. Although wildfires predominantly affect the Western States, like California, recent dry conditions have sparked serious concerns in the Southern and Eastern United States.

Homes at risk

Thousands of homes could be affected by wildfire damage risks. Two counties in Colorado and New Mexico have concerns about wildfire damage risks. Likewise, Santa Fe County in New Mexico, although much smaller, has an even greater percentage of risk.

A study conducted by CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics, and data-enabled solutions provider, examined property-related wildfire risk as well as the reconstruction resources, temporary housing capacity, and economic recovery potential in Florida's fire-prone areas.

CoreLogic identified wildfire risks in 15 Western U.S states, with Florida coming out among the riskiest states this year. Its study reveals that not only will there be prolonged drought conditions but also firefighter shortages.

Around 1,300 jobs were unfilled after the Golden State hired 25% less than the initially projected first responders in the summer of 2022.

Florida is used to dealing with harsh floods, hurricanes, and tropical storms. Adding wildfire to the risk is just another dimension that makes life and business harder in the Sunshine State.

Why is Florida at risk of wildfires?

Wildfires are prevalent in the Western United States, but recent drought conditions and climate change have made the problem worse. According to CoreLogic data, wildfires have burned an average of 6.8 million acres per year, reaching 10 million acres in three of those years.

“Wildfires present a real and present threat to our families and communities. Mitigating this risk will require commitment from homeowners, first responders, insurers, and regulators. A first step in achieving the resilient communities we seek is to quantify what is at risk,” said Tom Larsen, senior director of Insurance solutions at CoreLogic.

Are you concerned about wildfires?

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