California Wildfire Losses Will Exceed $1 Billion According To The State’s Insurance Commissioner

California Wildfire

The deadly Northern California wildfires continue to cause devastation, frustration, and great personal loss. More than 7,000 homes are now just smoke and ash, and the wildfires are still burning and turning Northern California into a melting pot in more ways than one. According to California’s insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, the fires will cost insurers more than $1 billion. That number is just an estimate based on figures from seven insurance companies.
A U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency spokesperson said it will speed federal disaster help to people ruined by wildfires in Napa and Sonoma, as well as in other Northern California counties. The agency is granting a 90-day hold on foreclosures on FHA-backed mortgages, and the agency is offering other assistance to homeowners. A HUD spokesperson said there are thousands of FHA-insured homeowners in those counties, and most of them will need help when it is possible to rebuild. HUD will also modify loans for borrowers that can’t make payments because they lost their homes in the wildfires.
Daniel Berlant, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman, said most of the major destruction occurred Oct. 8 and Oct. 9. That’s when the wildfires started in California's wine counties of Napa and Sonoma, plus the local areas around them. More than 15,000 people are in shelters of some kind because fire crews are trying to stop the progress and contain the fires. The wildfire that broke out in Sonoma is the third deadliest in California’s history. That fire killed 22 of the 42 people who lost their lives in the October fires.
There is another wildfire south of the Northern California's wine country fires. That fire is burning more than 300 acres and threatening more than 300 homes. And the fire burning in the Santa Cruz mountains is sending smoke to the beach town of Santa Cruz and to the campus of UC Santa Cruz. The fire is hard to stop because navigating the rugged mountain terrain makes ground fighting difficult. Several firefighters sustained injuries in those mountains.
But there is hope that the wildfires in Northern California will be under control soon, according to Daniel Berlant. Berlant thinks the fires that destroyed Santa Rosa will be under control by the 20th of October thanks to cooler temperatures and light rainfall. Meanwhile, California Governor Jerry Brown put an executive order in place that will cut red tape and fast-track recovery efforts.