Two deadly Northern California wildfires that scorched more than 140,000 acres, ravaged homes and devoured firefighting resources in September have amounted to at least $1 billion in insured losses so far, according to a state insurance department report.
The Valley and Butte fires took a devastating toll on the region as flames chewed through homes, farms, vehicles and personal belongings, and eventually gave rise to a large number of claims, the California Department of Insurance reported. The preliminary $1 billion loss estimate did not include damage to roads and utilities, so the total figure for insured losses is likely to grow.
In Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties, the Valley fire consumed 1,958 structures, resulting in $700 million in insured losses. Because the blaze destroyed many homes and buildings, it became the third most damaging wildfire in California’s history.
Four people were killed during the 76,067-acre blaze, which started Sept. 12 in southern Lake County and lasted a little more than a month.
The 70,868-acre Butte fire ran through grasslands and timber in California’s Gold Country – Amador and Calaveras counties. The blaze is the seventh most destructive wildfire in the state’s history, destroying 818 structures and resulting in $300 million in insured losses. Two deaths were attributed to the Butte fire.