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Wildfires, Malden
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Ross: The sad future of home buying amid wildfires, climate change

Shawn Thornton hugs his wife, Shannon Thornton, next to the rubble of their burned home Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Malden, Washington. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

You can see it for yourself, as smoke from wildfires continues to blanket much of the West Coast.

The president has reassured us that the wildfires will end, and the world will fix itself – and he’s absolutely right. This will fix itself one way or the other. But I don’t think it will be fixed by another climate debate or by the government telling people where they can live.

I think this will be fixed by the climate maps themselves.

We own a little weekend beach house, and we just got the new climate map showing the risk of it ending up underwater. There’s this little patch of blue lapping at the front porch, and I’ve always wanted an indoor saltwater pool…

Anyway, we love it, and it’s good thing we plan to keep it forever, because I don’t think there’s a choice, thanks to that map. My one consolation is that sea level is rising relatively slowly, whereas the fires are here now, as anyone can tell just by looking up.

Meanwhile, those online fire maps with their scary and expanding red zones are becoming required reading for home buyers. And unless the nation suddenly falls in love with electric transportation, I think those red zones will either evacuate themselves, or be populated by people who don’t mind being uninsured.

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