Placer County, a rural region northwest of California’s capital, ranked the highest for fire risk, but saw its population grow almost 7% between 2013 and 2018, ranking it among the top 10th percentile of counties for population growth (on average, the US population grew at half that rate). An estimated 64,000 acres are expected to burn annually there by 2050.

Insurers are fleeing such high-risk regions. Extreme wildfires have killed dozens of people in recent years, and left thousands homeless. California had to step in this year to stop insurance companies from dropping or refusing to renew policies for 2.1 million households near fire-ravaged areas. But rebuilding in the same places may no longer be an option in a warming world.

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