Study: Minorities Are Most Vulnerable When Wildfires Strike in U.S.

This article discusses a study showing that Minorities Are Most Vulnerable When Wildfires Strike in US.

Having grown up in San Diego, Ian Davies has strong memories of the 2003 Cedar Fire, which at the time was California’s largest-ever wildfire.

Now, as a graduate student at the University of Washington, Mr. Davies has published a new study on wildfires, and on who is most at risk. “My sort of anecdotal memory of the wildfires is that the people who were most affected were, you know, white folks,” he said. “So what we wanted to do was examine areas where wildfires are likely to occur in the U.S. and actually dig deep and see what types of communities are most vulnerable.”

The study, which appears in the journal PLoS One this month, suggests that people of color, especially Native Americans, face more risk from wildfires than whites. It is another example of how the kinds of disasters exacerbated by climate change often hit minorities and the poor the hardest.

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