California is now officially the wildfire capital of America

More than 2 million California homes are at risk of wildfire damage, nearly triple the next highest state

By Lyle Adriano

More than 2 million California households are at “high” or “extreme” risk from wildfires, according to a report by Verisk Analytics. Additionally, the Insurance Information Institute has declared California the most wildfire-prone state in the country.

The figures by Verisk noted that California’s number of homes at risk of wildfire damage easily overtook Texas (706,200) and Colorado (363,900), the runners-up for the top-13 list.

Other states that made the list include (in descending order) Arizona (227,100), Idaho (163,500), and Washington (157,900). Wyoming made it at the bottom of the list with only 32,200 homes at risk.

On a percentage basis, California ranked third with 15% of its homes at high or extreme risk from wildfires. Montana is the leader of the percentage list at 27%, but its total number of at-risk homes—130,200—is far lower than California’s.

Verisk’s study also detailed the country’s biggest insured wildfire losses in a single year. Unsurprisingly, California tops the list once more with an insured wildfire loss of $1.7 billion in 1991—the biggest amount to date. Colorado, the runner-up, had an insured loss of $450 million in 2012.

Between 1995 and 2014, fires accounted for 1.5% of insured catastrophic loss in the country. This is a total of over $6 billion, according to data by the Property Claims Services of the Insurance Services Office.

Seven out of the ten costliest wildfires in the nation’s history in terms of insured losses have all occurred in California.

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