LA has more buildings in high-risk wildfire area than any other place in California: report

Other SoCal cities, including Malibu, are highly vulnerable to wildfires, data shows

Dec.December 18, 2018 11:00 AM
Overlooking King Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains

At least 1.1 million California buildings are in a high-risk wildfire area, and there’s no greater concentration statewide than in Los Angeles.

Around 114,000 structures in the city are located within the highest-risk fire zone, according to state data analyzed by the Los Angeles Times. Among the top 10 cities most at-risk are nearby Glendale, Thousand Oaks, and all the communities in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The analysis shows that communities devastated by recent fires, including the Woolsey Fire and the Camp Fire, were located in high-risk zones. Real estate damage estimates from the Woolsey Fire were around $5 billion.

Insurance companies have responded — the most recent wave of fires prompted some firms to pull back coverage for homeowners.

Nearly all of Malibu is considered at high risk — it is one of 174 communities statewide where 90 percent of its buildings are within the most severe risk zone. The Woolsey Fire destroyed at least $1.6 billion in Malibu property alone during its sweep across the seaside enclave.

Generally, the areas at highest risk are where cities meet rocky and undeveloped terrain, like the Santa Monica Mountains, home to some of L.A.’s most well-heeled communities, including Bel Air and Beverly Hills.

The state does not require local governments to undertake any specific measures based on their assessed risks on the maps, but they do share the information with local authorities.

The statewide data dates from 2007, and considers terrain, vegetation and past fires, according to the Times. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch 

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