Western Wildfires Threaten U.S. Losses

Large wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico could threaten more losses for U.S. carriers just as the severe weather season begins.

The High Park Fire — which is located northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, and a New Mexico fire — have claimed dozens of structures and caused thousands to evacuate and both are edging closer to populated areas, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

About 600 firefighters were expected to battle the fire by Tuesday, according to the Christine Science Monitor, which adds that that the Colorado fire has destroyed at least 118 structures forced several hundreds families to abandon their homes.

The most expensive wildfire in Colorado history was the September 2010 Fourmile Canyon Fire that burned 169 homes just northwest of Boulder and caused $223.9 million in insured losses, according to the RMIIA.

The costliest wildfire in U.S. history was 1991 Oakland Hills fire which caused $1.7 billion in insured losses and 2003’s wildfires in San Diego and San Bernardino Counties, California that caused $2.03 billion in losses.

Catastrophic fires account for 2.2% of US insurance losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

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