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California’s wildfires: A preliminary view of insured loss

By Arindam Samanta October 19, 2017
As of late October 17, CAL FIRE confirmed 42 fire-related deaths and reported that more than 210,000 acres have burned and more than 5,700 structures have been destroyed.

Verisk’s Property Claim Services® (PCS®) has assigned catastrophe designations for three of the 13 large wildfires burning in California, making this the most active year in PCS history for wildland fire designations.

The PCS-designated fires include the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire in the Redwood Valley of Mendocino County; the Tubbs/Central LNU Complex Fire in Napa and Sonoma counties; and the Atlas/Southern LNU Complex Fire in Napa and Solano counties.

With the wildfires that erupted on October 8 still raging in many areas of the state, it will be some time before a final toll is taken, but it’s already clear that they have wrought devastation across a large swath of the state. As of late October 17, CAL FIRE confirmed 42 fire-related deaths and reported that more than 210,000 acres have burned and more than 5,700 structures have been destroyed.

To get a preliminary view of risk within the wildfire-affected areas, we used FireLine®—Verisk’s wildfire risk management tool – to analyze two of the largest fires: the Tubbs Fire and the Atlas Fire. FireLine identified 77 percent of the Tubbs properties, 88 percent of the Atlas properties, and 81 percent of the Mendocino properties as being at extreme or high exposure to the wildfire hazard. Here’s a closer look at the findings:

Tubbs Fire

The Tubbs Fire began on Oct. 8, 2017 and is burning in various locations throughout Napa and Sonoma counties between Calistoga and Santa Rosa. To date, the fire has burned 36,432 acres and is 91 percent contained.

Verisk FireLine analysis of the Tubbs Fire

Verisk FireLine analysis of Tubbs Fire by risk level
Atlas Fire

The Atlas Fire began Oct. 08, 2017, and has affected Napa and Solano Counties. To date, it has burned 51,064 acres and is 83 percent contained.

Verisk FireLine analysis of the Atlas Fire

Verisk FireLine analysis of the Atlas Fire by risk level

Mendocino Fires

The Mendocino Fires began Oct. 08, 2017. To date, they have burned 35,800 acres and are 75 percent contained.Verisk FireLine analysis of the Mendocino Fire

FireLine analysis of Mendocino fire


Arindam Samanta, PhD, is director of product management and innovation at Verisk. You can contact Arindam at asamanta@verisk.com.