MALIBU (CBSLA) — Insurance losses from the wildfires that devastated California in November have topped $9 billion, an astronomical number that state officials say they only expect to rise.
“The grand total of these insured losses so far is $9.05 billion; however, we know this number will climb, as, again, these are preliminary loss numbers,” state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said. “We will have updates to the data, as more residents return to their homes and businesses.
In Southern California, the combined losses from the Woolsey Fire that raged through Malibu and the nearby Hill Fire that started in Thousand Oaks the same day was $2.05 billion, the bulk of which was from residential property losses at $1.95 billion. Commercial property damage was estimated at $81.2 million, and other losses, including vehicles, was estimated at more than $23.1 million.
The Woolsey Fire burned 96,949 acres, destroyed 1,500 structures and is blamed for three deaths.
The insurance losses from the Camp Fire in Northern California were exponentially worse. An estimated $7 billion in losses were caused by the blaze, which burned 153,336 acres, destroyed 18,793 structures and killed 85 people.
“The devastating wildfires of 2018 were the deadliest and costliest wildfire catastrophes in California’s history,” Jones said. “The tragic deaths of 88 people and over $9 billion insured losses to date are shocking numbers – behind the insured loss numbers are thousands of people who’ve been traumatized by unfathomable loss.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)