New Report Says More Than Half A Million Idaho Homes Are At Risk Of Wildfire

Oct 26, 2016

The 2016 Table Rock Fire burned one home and threatened dozens of others in east Boise.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

A new report says nearly 600,000 homes in Idaho are at some risk of wildfire. The data released Wednesday by real estate data firm CoreLogic shows Idaho ranks 11th in the number of at-risk homes out of the 13 Western states examined.

But when it comes to the nearly 68,000 homes considered at extreme or high risk, Idaho ranks fifth behind only California, Texas, Colorado and Oregon. In Idaho, the potential replacement cost of at-risk homes is just over $171 billion.

The report also includes numbers in southwestern Idaho. According to CoreLogic, 231,711 homes in Ada, Boise, Canyon, Gem and Owyhee counties face at least some risk from wildfire.

Tom Jeffrey is a Wisconsin-based researcher who conducted the study. He says he hopes the report will get Idahoans to take a look around their property and assess how susceptible they might be to fire.

“Sometimes it’s pretty obvious,” he says. “You know, if you’re surrounded by a large conifer forest, you pretty much know there’s risk there. But really, if there are a lot of homes where the individual property owner just doesn’t realize that, they can be at risk.” 

Jeffery used computer models and a geographic information system, or G.I.S., to examine things like slope, aspect and available fuels in 900 sq. meter grids to assess a particular area’s wildfire risk. 

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

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