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Sacramento Suburbs At High Wildfire Risk In California


Photo: AFP

Sacramento suburbs with the highest wildfire risk in California.

A U.S. climate research nonprofit released a new report this week that estimated more than 4.6 million properties in California, about 40% of the state, now have at least “moderate” risk of burning in a wildfire some time in the next few decades. A “risk factor” online tool accompanying the organization’s report gives estimated risk levels for incorporated cities as well as individual neighborhoods with the highest burning probability in case of a wildfire, and allows users to type in their own home address, to find out their own personal estimated risk level.

Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Pollock Pines, Lincoln, Loomis, Newcastle and parts of Folsom and Roseville are among areas listed with a “severe” community wildfire risk factor, according to the First Street tool. The Natomas Park area, according to the First Street risk factor tool, was labeled as a "major" risk area, as well as nearby Rio Linda in unincorporated Sacramento County. The tool provides broad estimates, and a lower risk rating does not mean a devastating wildfire cannot emerge in a location. South Lake Tahoe, for instance, is only as a moderate wildfire risk – even after the Caldor Fire forced the evacuation of the entire city for several days last fall.

The high-risk areas align with Cal Fire’s fire hazard severity zones maps, which have not changed since 2007. The map for Sacramento County shows areas near Folsom with moderate wildfire risk but shows Rancho Cordova as low risk; Cal Fire’s map for Yolo also lists Winters as having moderate risk.

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