Arizona One of the Country’s Most At-Risk States Due to Natural Disaster

Aug 6, 2014

A personal finance website has ranked Arizona as the 10th most at-risk state for natural disaster. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, major wildfires caused by persistent drought contributed to the Grand Canyon State making the list.

Flames from the Wallow Fire — Arizona's largest-ever wildfire — consume pine trees in 2011.
Credit Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

According to, between 2006 and 2013, Arizona’s property damage due to natural disaster was an estimated $3.5 billion dollars. Its most frequent calamities include thunderstorms, flash floods, drought and dust storms. Also, during that eight-year span, 93 deaths resulted from natural disasters in the state.

Kiplinger took all these factors into consideration and worked with the National Weather Service in making its list.

In May, the Slide Fire burned more than 21,000 acres south of Flagstaff and cost more than $10 million to fight. No injuries were reported and no structures burned, but it was the Coconino National Forest’s largest fire in its history. Three years ago, the Wallow Fire — Arizona’s all-time biggest — burned half-a-million acres in eastern Arizona.

Also making Kiplinger’s risk list was Colorado with $3.7 billion in damage between 2006 and 2013, and Oklahoma with $4.5 billion dollars. New Jersey topped the list with nearly $27 billion in damage, much of that due to 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.