Damage Assessment of California Wildfires Begins

Active wildfires in California have already burned over 115,000 acres and approximately 3,500 homes and businesses. At the moment, the death toll stand at 40. The unfortunate reality is that these numbers are only expected to rise as the fires continue to rage across wine country.

Business and property analytics company CoreLogic recently released a hazard-risk analysis that found that 172,117 homes, with a combined reconstruction value of $65 billion, are at some level of risk from these wildfires. This analysis only studied the Napa and Santa Rosa metropolitan areas, meaning the total amount of buildings at risk will likely continue to grow if these wildfires continue.

Kevin Van Leer, an RMS expert on wildfire, spoke with the Insurance Journal about the types of damage insurers can expect to see, saying: “In addition to the burned structure damage, smoke may also be a major source of loss from this event…RMS is monitoring the latest satellite imagery and local reports to understand the scope of burned structures and damaging smoke.”.

Insurers only recently have been able to get boots on the ground to begin to assess the damage wrought by these fires. However, since these fires are still in a very active state, it’s really too early for any accurate estimates. Unfortunately, given the data that is available it looks like the toll of these wildfires will be high, making this a larger scale disaster.

At the moment, most of the claims being filed are for structural damage, though we could see that change as more claims flood in after the fires finally die down. In summary, these fires are deadly, spreading and still very active. Insurers are onsite to help policyholders as people begin to deal with this, but it’s important to remember that this still an active situation.

The Insurance Journal provided this list of active fires of interested according to Cal Fire as of 10/12:

Tubbs Fire, Sonoma and Napa County
– Between Calistoga and Santa Rosa
– 27,000 acres
– Significant number of commercial and residential structures destroyed
– CAL FIRE Incident Management Team assigned
Atlas Fire, Napa County
– South of Lake Berryessa and northeast City of Napa
– 25,000 acres
– Multiple structures destroyed
– CAL FIRE Incident Management Team assigned
Redwood Complex, Mendocino County
– Hwy 20, Potter Valley and Redwood Valley area
– 21,000 acres
– Multiple structures destroyed
– CAL FIRE Incident Management Team activated
Cascade Fire, Yuba County
– Maryville Road and Loma Rica Road, Loma Rica
– 11,500 acres, 15 percent contained
– Now part of the Wind Complex

Sources:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2017/10/10/467002.htm