May 20, 2022 - News

Manatee and Pasco counties at higher risk of wildfires

Note: Major risk is defined as at least a 0.2% risk of fire in a given year; Data: First Street Foundation; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Tampa Bay homeowners can now add wildfires to their list of climate-related concerns.

What's happening: New research shows climate change will cause a steep increase in the exposure of U.S. properties to wildfire risks during the next 30 years, doubling the risk level in many areas.

Why it matters: Florida is among the states with the largest number of properties at risk, along with California, Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma, Axios' Andrew Freedman reports.

Zoom in: Manatee and Pasco counties are even more at risk than the rest of the Tampa Bay area, with a higher chance of burning between 2022 and 2052, according to a new report from the First Street Foundation.

Be smart: The nonprofit known for mapping flood risks also released a new tool to help property owners and prospective owners make informed decisions.

What they're saying: "The thing that we noticed right away was the amount of risk that's in Texas, Florida, in places outside the typical wildfire areas," Matthew Eby, founder and executive director of First Street Foundation, told Axios.

  • Climate change is also expected to move many properties from the moderate to major risk categories, a trend the report describes as a "looming catastrophe."
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