A non-profit research group, First Street Foundation, recently released data that calculates the wildfire risk for each property in the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Notably, according to First Street Foundation, because of the impact of climate change, "the number of existing properties facing at least a 1 percent risk [of wildfire each year] will almost quadruple, to 2.5 million" in thirty years.
This dataset demonstrates that commercial and nonprofit interests are increasingly taking into account the risks associated with climate change when making predictions--and contemplating investments--for the future. It is likely that this dataset, and similar compilations of material, will increasingly be used for corporate planning and insurance purposes as companies and the overall economy adapts to the risks associated with climate change.
Notably, this type of information is likely to be among the items contemplated by the SEC in its recent proposed disclosure rules when it inquired as to the steps public companies were taking to prepare for climate change--assessing whether the location of company facilities are in an area with increased exposure to wildfire risk would likely be an area of concern.
The nation’s wildfire risk is widespread, severe and accelerating quickly, according to new data that, for the first time, calculates the risk facing every property in the contiguous United States. The data, released Monday by the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research group in New York, comes as rising housing prices in cities and suburbs push Americans deeper into fire-prone areas, with little idea about the specific risk in their new locale. That’s because the federal government maps flood risk at the property level but doesn’t do the same for wildfires, which are growing more frequent and severe because of climate change.