If you haven’t decided to move to Nevada for lifestyle and financial reasons, consider California disasters.
- The “big one” is due, and you know what that is
- Drought worsens wildfires
- Wildfires worsen mudslides
By Hal DeKeyser
Most of Coastal California where people live is built on top of earthquake-prone faults. In fact, it’s the worst region for earthquakes in the continental United States. And they’re telling us that the next huge quake is probably overdue.
Oregon State geology professor Robert Yeats says Southern California is especially at risk because the infamous San Andreas fault has been relatively quiet since a 7.9 quake in 1857. So the San Andreas has lots of pressure built up. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake that nearly leveled that city was a 7.9.
In addition to the loss of life, earthquakes destroy property, businesses, communities and the sense of security in a place.
And they happen all too often.
I have been in earthquakes in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and – believe it or not – the Grand Canyon. You even get them in El Centro. Some are just light rumbles, and people who live along the West Coast are fairly used to that and shrug them off.
The big ones, though, where the walls sway and things fling themselves off walls and counters, are a heart attack. Earthquakes probably are the most serious risk among California disasters.
But you know that.
Nevada has some risk, just less
Nevada is in earthquake country also, more so in the northern part of the state. Las Vegas is not immune, either, and a massive quake near Las Vegas could be devastating. But that’s less likely to happen in the next few decades, unlike coastal California, and quakes happen less frequently in Las Vegas.
What about wildfires?
Fires show up in the north and on the desert now and again, but nothing like California.
There can be considerable wildfire danger in areas around Las Vegas, particularly on the wooded Mount Charleston and heading toward the Utah border. The Mohave Desert is barren, even for a desert, so the danger of a huge wildfire sweeping through the city of Las Vegas is remote compared to places where trees and dry ground vegetation are plentiful.
In California, higher than normal temperatures and drought has been blamed for extending the wildfire season. And California has more population areas right next to or in environments with lots of fuel, unlike most of Southern Nevada.
In California, mudslides follow wildfires like spring follows winter. That’s particularly risky in areas where people have built on hills in areas where fires occur. What happens is the fires kill the vegetation that hold the slope intact, and then rainstorms run down the barren incline, taking water, dirt, rocks, plants and structures with it.
Mudslides? Not much of an issue in Las Vegas.
With a few exceptions, most of the building in and around Las Vegas is relatively flat, and the elevated development is not right next to a forest. Mount Charleston and northern Nevada have more forests with development next to it, but those are not the state’s population centers.
We do have drainage issues in the Las Vegas valley during infrequent heavy rains, as the desert is gently sloped and hard. There are flash flood dangers then. But not much of the issues like neighborhoods sliding down the hill as happens elsewhere.
Leave those California disasters behind
So if you want to live on a shaky, burning fault line and have your steeper neighbors’ real estate come sliding down the hill on top of you, California is your place.
If you’re tired of the world shaking below you, threatening to bring your home or business down in a tumble of debris, consider leaving California for the flat desert surrounded by scenic mountains.
See the entire #DumpCal blog series
- 10-plus reasons to Dump California for Vegas
- DumpCal Reason 1 — California housing costs are 2½-5 times Vegas’
- DumpCal Reason 2 — California income taxes are U.S. highest; Nevada, the lowest (as in NO state tax)
- DumpCal Reason 3: — California property taxes are 2½-5 times higher
- DumpCal Reason 5 – Vegas things to do are easier, cheaper, and plentiful
- DumpCal Reason 6 – Republican tax bill will cost Californians more in income taxes
- DumpCal Reason 7 – Las Vegas airport: convenient, flies everywhere, has best deals
- DumpCal Reason 8 – Leaving Las Vegas: easy trips to Cal, Arizona and Utah
- DumpCal Reason 9 – The Las Vegas economy is healthy and growing
- DumpCal Reason 10 – California regulation is killing businesses
- DumpCal Reason 11 — Leaving California – disasters – earthquakes, fires, mudslides …