Colorado Springs ranks high in wildfire risk report

Colorado Springs ranks high in wildfire risk report

26 October 2016

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USA —   A California-based property information and analytics firm is looking at wildfire risk in a different way as it releases its second annual report on 13 Western states.

CoreLogic said it uses a proprietary methodology to identify the number of properties, their risk level and their reconstruction cost values.

The firm’s analysis also includes the threat of adjacent risk due to windblown embers, recognizing that wildfires can spread to nearby properties and cause significant damage there, even if that property had not initially been identified as being at risk.

Based on the report, Colorado Springs ranks seventh for number of homes at extreme risk, with 14,460, and has a total of 217,412 homes facing some degree of risk.

Capt. Steve Wilch of the Colorado Springs Fire Department said the report comes as no surprise.

“We have a lot of people who live here briefly and move on,” he said. “So it would not be surprising if people are unaware of some of the efforts they need to do to mitigate the fuel hazards on their property. We continue to push the message of wildfire mitigation, just in case they’re new to our community and need some help.”

Wilch said a 1999 study determined wildfire is the city’s greatest natural disaster risk.

“But currently, insurers pay out more for hail damage claims than all other natural disasters,” he said.

Wilch said 24 percent of city residents live in the Wildland Urban Interface, which generally describes the west side and is vulnerable to wildfires.

“We’ve done wildfire hazard evaluations on nearly 37,000 homes,” he said. “We work with 112 homeowners associations and 23 Firewise communities.”

The Denver metro area ranks third in the report, behind the Riverside and Sacramento metro areas of California.

Colorado ranks fifth with 117,832 homes at extreme risk and more than 1.7 million facing some degree of risk.

Based on the report, the cost of repairing homes at extreme risk in Colorado Springs is nearly $4.3 billion, and $32.6 billion in Colorado.

The top four states for total homes at risk are California, Texas, Washington and Arizona.

Oregon and Idaho rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in homes at extreme risk but have far fewer total homes at risk.

CoreLogic rates the states on extreme risk, high risk, moderate risk and low risk.

Winters have started approaching the northern region of India that also includes Delhi-NCR along with Punjab and Haryana. Due to this, minimums have also started dropping in many parts of North India including Delhi and NCR. In fact, as per the temperatures recorded on October 15 and October 17, the minimums ofDelhi and NCR went down to 17°C.

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As per experts, an increase in the pollution level normally occurs during the winter months. However, there are a few reasons that could enhance the pollution level in Delhi and the adjoining areas. The very first reason that can be attributed to an increase in pollution level in the national capital is crop fires in the neighboring state ofHaryana andPunjab.

These two states lie in northwest proximity of Delhi and normal pattern of winds during this season is northwesterly. These winds drag the smoke and fine particles of the burnt crop and mix them with Delhi’s atmosphere. Moreover, the temperatures also start dipping, therefore, the air near the earth’s surface tends to condense leading to formation of haze.

Whenever the winds are light or calm, these air pollutants get mixed with the haze or mist and forms a blanket of smoke haze which remains suspended for few hours in the mornings. Thereafter, the haze disappears as the sun rises and temperatures increases during the day.


But as the winter progresses in the month of December and January, the duration of haze, mist or fog gets extended and these pollutants remain suspended in the atmosphere for longer duration of time. Other factors including the smoke emitting from vehicles and factories and dust from construction sites also add to the rising pollution levels.

Sometimes this situation can continue for day’s altogether. However, relief is expected only when a strong Western Disturbance gives rain over the region. It is then that these pollutants settle down for a few days.

Another criterion which reduces the pollution levels is the strong and moderate dry winds from northwest or west which carry away these pollution particles. In a nutshell, it can be said that in October, intensity and duration of pollution remain less though increases in November as winters sets in.

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