The city of Leavenworth tops a new report listing of Washington communities most exposed to wildfire danger, with Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Chelan, Cashmere and Omak neighboring it in the top 10.
The U.S. Forest Service report "Exposure of human communities to wildfire in the Pacific Northwest," carried out by Montana fire assessment firm Pyrologix, finds those communities among the 50 most-threatened in Washington when it comes to wildland blazes. "Exposure," in the Pyrologix report, amounts to "the likelihood of wildfire burning a given location on the landscape." The probability of wildfire affecting an individual housing unit in Leavenworth was calculated at 108 per 10,000, the report says, while in Wenatchee — number five on the ranked list — the probability was 17 per 10,000. The figures are based on factors including annual occurrence of wildfire, housing density, and proximity to fire-prone landscape.
With the knowledge in the report, the authors write, homeowners and buyers can be better informed of risk, and governments and other agencies can "prioritize communities for home-loss mitigation efforts, allocate mitigation funding, inform building codes, and guide residential development."