Study: Colorado has highest ratio in country of homes most vulnerable to wildfires

DENVER — More than 200,000 homes in Colorado are highly vulnerable to wildfires, according to a proprietary scale made by CoreLogic, a real estate analytics company based in California, The Denver Post reported.

The figure represents more than one out of 10 homes in the state, the highest ratio in any state, with a value of the high-risk homes estimated at $38.2 billion. Montana (9.1 percent of homes) and Oregon (8 percent) followed Colorado. Texas and Colorado have the most property that is vulnerable based on dollar terms.

“There are three states that stand out among the rest for wildfires: California, Colorado and Texas,” Thomas Jeffery, a senior hazard scientist with CoreLogic, told The Post.

READ: 2013 CoreLogic Wildfire Hazard Risk Report

In its scale, CoreLogic found 78 percent of homes in the state are unlikely to see damage from a wildfire. The company previously used a category system of low, moderate, high and very high risk, but it found low and moderate risk areas could suffer severe demage.

“Waldo Canyon was a good example,” Jeffery said. “We had urban-edge properties that would have been considered low risk, and yet the homes burned.”

The Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs in 2012 burned 346 homes.

CoreLogic was able to test its scoring system based on recent fires in the state. In the 2013 Black Forest Fire in which 486 structures burned, 97 percent had a risk score of 81 or higher, CoreLogic said.