Top Climate Change Risks: Fire, Heat, Drought

See how climate change will affect people in California.
Then, check your local risk for heat, storm, fire, drought, and flood through 2050.

Typical Risks for Someone in California

On average, people in California will see increased risks from fire, extreme heat, and drought due to climate change over the next 30 years.

For Fire, the bar estimates the middle 50% of buildings and middle 50% of land area. For heat, drought, and storm, the bars represent the middle 50% of the population.

Climate Risk Profile:
Top 10 Cities in California

The major city with the highest overall risk is Fresno, which has especially high risks from heat and drought. The city with the lowest overall risk is Anaheim, which has relatively low risks from heat and storm.

San Francisco and Oakland have the lowest risk from heat. San Diego and Fresno have the highest risk of water stress.

Risk in California and Other States

Among the lower 48 states, California’s highest ranking is 10th for fire risk. Utah, Idaho, and Kansas are tied for 1st. See our fire ranking methodology.

California ranks 11th for drought risk (highest: Arizona; lowest: Mississippi)

California ranks 33rd for heat risk (highest: Florida; lowest: Washington)

California ranks 41st for storm risk (highest: New Hampshire; lowest: Nevada)

Heat Risk in California with climate change

An extremely hot day in California depends on your location: 81ºF is hot for San Francisco, while 106ºF is considered hot for Bakersfield.

The frequency of very hot days is increasing. On average, someone in California will experience about 36 hot days in 2050. A typical person in the U.S. will experience about 43 hot days in 2050.

Drought Risk in California with climate change

The ratio of available water to the water that we use is water stress. Increasing demand and/or decreasing supply with climate change puts a location at higher risk from drought.

The projected water supply and consumption through 2050 varies across California.

The risk of water stress is highest in [city over #?] and [], while [] and [] have the lowest risk.

Fire Risk in California with climate change

Fire risk with climate change has many contributing factors, and risk varies significantly across the state. The projected spread of [vegetation types] affects the risk of a fire starting, while the potential for damage and the chance of particularly high flames also contribute to our fire risk rating.

[specific examples in the state here. (location a) is heavily wooded, ... (location b) is surrounded by __, so while the potential for dry brush is high, a fire there is less likely to be as destructive as one in (location a).]

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