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Burning down the house: the cost of wildfires in heavily urbanized areas

S. Tanner

No 275955, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: The frequency and severity of wildfires in the United States has increased dramatically over the past few decades, with both climatic conditions and development into wildland areas fueling this trend. We explore how high-intensity wildfires impact communities living in areas of significant wildland fire risk near national forests in Southern California. The study area contains several megacities that are directly adjacent to four of the most heavily trafficked national forests. Home prices in communities near the forests are valued for their scenery, abundant recreational opportunities, and respite from the cities. Directly after a wildfire, disamenities such as a less attractive view, loss of recreation sites, and increased perception of risk should be capitalized into home prices. We contribute to the literature on wildfire impacts by estimating the impact of a recent fire on property sales prices along two dimensions: properties close to the wildfire compared with properties farther away, and properties in designated areas of high fire risk. Our findings suggest significant heterogeneous impacts of wildfire depending on whether the property is located on highrisk land, as well as evidence that proximity to a national forest can alter the risk perceptions of potential home buyers.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-ure
Date: 2018-07
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:iaae18:275955

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.275955

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