Here’s where Utahns face the highest risk for wildfire, avalanche and other natural disasters

Homeowners insurance is growing more expensive or hard to find because of natural disasters. The Salt Lake Tribune breaks down which counties have the highest risk for some of the havoc.

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) A home destroyed by a landslide at Parkway Drive in North Salt Lake nearly a decade ago.

This story is part of The Salt Lake Tribune’s ongoing commitment to identify solutions to Utah’s biggest challenges through the work of the Innovation Lab.

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As wildfires, floods and other natural disasters wreak havoc across the country, insurers are raising premiums or pulling out of some markets altogether because of the risk.

Premiums increased an average of 21% from May 2022 to May 2023 across the country and more in Florida and some western states including Utah, according to a report from Policygenius.

And home insurance is becoming increasingly expensive and harder to find in the Wasatch Back because of wildfire risk.

Summit County and five other counties in Utah have a “relatively high” risk of wildfire, according to the National Risk Index, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The remaining counties have either moderate or low risk.

At least two counties also have a “relatively high” or “very high” risk of avalanches, earthquakes and landslides.

Avalanche risk is concentrated in northern Utah, with the highest risk in Juab, Salt Lake, Sanpete, Summit, Utah and Wasatch counties.

The lowest risk is in southwestern Utah and in Carbon and Grand counties. There’s no risk assigned for Daggett, Tooele and Uintah counties because there’s no historical record of data on avalanche and “the hazard type is not geographically possible,” according to the NRI’s frequently asked questions page.

The Wasatch Front is most at risk for earthquakes.

There’s also moderate risk in Box Elder and Cache counties. The remaining counties have relatively or very low risk.

Emery County has a “very high” risk of landslides.

There’s also relatively high risk in Garfield, Grand, Juab, Salt Lake, Sanpete, Utah, Washington and Weber counties.

Another eight counties have moderate risk, and twelve have relatively low risk. No county in Utah has a “very low” risk of landslides.

Property owners can learn more about risk, expected loss and other factors on FEMA’s site.