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Kincade, Tick, and Getty Fires spread damage in California

By Dr. Arindam Samanta, Kaitlyn Perham  |  October 30, 2019

As multiple wildfires burned in California, three inflicted significant damage and forced widespread evacuations in both the northern and southern parts of the state. The Kincade Fire in Sonoma and the Tick and Getty Fires in Los Angeles County burned thousands of acres and destroyed or damaged dozens of structures, according to official reports.

Verisk is providing preliminary analysis of the distribution of risk within ZIP codes affected by these wildfires. More detailed analysis of the actual areas burned by the fires will be available at a later date.

Kincade Fire

The wildfire ignited on October 24 near Geyserville, California, in Sonoma County. As of October 30, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reported the fire had burned more than 76,000 acres and was only 30 percent contained. Strong winds caused the fire to spread rapidly, destroying nearly 200 structures and damaging 39. Nine zones were designated for mandatory evacuation, and additional evacuation warnings were posted for four other zones. The cause was under investigation.

According to estimates using FireLine®, Verisk’s wildfire risk management tool, about 87 percent of addresses in the area of the Kincade Fire are in ZIP codes at risk, with nearly 44 percent in ZIP codes containing high to extreme risk. All of the properties in the area are within a Special Hazard Zone, with 74 percent in Zones 3 and 4, meaning they’re closer to wildland fuels and thus have heavier exposure to smoke and ash damage in addition to fire damage.

View the FireLine heat map of the Kincade Fire.

Tick Fire

The wildfire ignited on October 24 in the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles County. According to CAL FIRE, the fire had burned more than 4,600 acres and was 94 percent contained as of October 30. Strong Santa Ana winds drove the fire’s rapid growth. About 50 structures were destroyed or damaged, and thousands more were threatened before crews brought the fire under control. All evacuation orders were lifted on October 27.

Los Angeles County is ranked first in the state by number of housing units in the high and extreme wildfire risk categories, according to Verisk’s recently published FireLine Risk Reports for California. Based on Verisk estimates using FireLine, more than 72 percent of addresses in the area of the Tick Fire are in ZIP codes at risk, with around 34 percent in ZIP codes containing high to extreme risk. All of the properties in the area are within a Special Hazard Zone, with 76 percent in Zones 3 and 4.

Getty Fire

This fire broke out in the early morning hours of October 28 and quickly exceeded 600 acres near and west of the 405 Freeway. The Los Angeles Fire Department reported around 17 structures destroyed or damaged and thousands of structures were evacuated as of October 30. The fire was only 15 percent contained. The Getty Fire is also burning in the top-ranked county by number of housing units in the high and extreme wildfire risk categories, according to Verisk’s recently published FireLine Risk Reports for California. 

According to Verisk estimates using FireLine, nearly 82 percent of addresses in the area of the Getty Fire are in ZIP codes at risk, with more than 48 percent in ZIP codes containing high to extreme risk. All of the properties in the area are within a Special Hazard Zone, with 98 percent in Zones 3 and 4.


Dr. Arindam Samanta is director of product management and innovation at Verisk.

Kaitlyn Perham is a geospatial analyst at Verisk.