Riverside County Listed as Most Properties at Risk of Wildfire

Carmela Karcher

What used to be a fire season is now year round.

Wildfires are already wreaking havoc across the state, but according to a report from the First Street Foundation, Riverside County has the most properties at risk of being burned in a wildfire in the entire nation.

“We decided that a meaningful wildfire risk was about a 1% risk cumulatively over 30 years, which equals about 0.03% risk annually,” Jeremy Porter said.

Porter is the Chief Research Officer at the First Street Foundation.

This foundation has done a previous national assessment of properties at risk of flooding.

In this new wildfire study, Riverside County topped the charts.

He explained, “We found about 700,000 properties in the county that had the 0.03% wildfire risk today, which equates to about 1% cumulative risk over 30 years.”

Porter said it’s due to intersecting factors, like decreasing humidity and increasing temperatures overtime.

That paired with how many properties are in the area made Riverside County the most at risk.

But CAL FIRE is already making efforts to help lower that risk this year.

“We have several prescribed burns to be conducted today in Lake Skinner,” Public Information Officer for CAL FIRE Riverside County Fire Rob Roseen said. “That should have been conducted this morning. Tomorrow we’ll be at Lake Matthews burning a plot there. We want to preserve natural plants in those areas, but remove some of that dry vegetation.”

To help create a buffer and since many fires are human-caused, they have also shut down popular hiking trails like Indian Canyon and North Mountain around San Jacinto and Whitewater Canyon near Cabazon.

All to help them help us these upcoming months.

“When you start having weather that’s increasing the temperature and you have that humidity dropping, that becomes what we call fire weather,” Roseen said. “That’s why people will need to be prepared. It’s not if but when those wildfires are going to be coming.”

If you want to know if your own home is at risk or what areas are, you can head to https://riskfactor.com/

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