The Carr wildfire continues to burn and expand in Shasta County, California and the number of structures destroyed by the fire has now reached 1,378, making the Carr fire now the sixth most destructive on record in the state, with hot and dry weather making further damage likely.
The Carr wildfire has aggressively continued to burn, as the hot and dry conditions continue in California and strong winds help the flames to expand the burn area and Red Flag Warnings continue to be raised meaning further expansion of the Carr fire is possible.
Based on the number of structures destroyed, the Carr wildfire has now surpassed both the Thomas and Nuns wildfires of 2017, becoming the sixth most destructive on record in the state of California.
The Thomas wildfire alone was estimated to have caused somewhere up to $2.5 billion of insurance and reinsurance industry losses and its impacts affected aggregate contracts, including some private ILS and catastrophe bonds. The California Department of Insurance has the insurance and reinsurance industry losses in Ventura county alone as over $1.5 billion.Unfortunately the fire season has months to run.
The Nuns fire was estimated to have caused close to one billion dollars of insurance and reinsurance losses as well.
The still burning Carr wildfire has now destroyed almost 1,000 residential properties, 16 commercial properties and the rest being farm buildings, outbuildings and the like (which can often be insured still)....MORE
What follows are some historical comparisons with a couple caveats:
1) the further back in time you go the less precise/reliable the size of the burn area. Death statistics tend to be more accurate.As people move into formerly wild areas they cause a higher percentage of fires versus lightning. On the other hand fires that formerly burned until they ran out of fuel or until the rains came are now battled aggressively.
2) Because of dramatic land use changes the dynamics of number of fires and extent have changed.
From the U.S. Interagency Fire Center.
The last decade
|2018 (1/1/18 - 8/1/18)||Fires: 37,591||Acres: 4,810,195|
|2017 (1/1/17 - 8/1/17)||Fires: 39,227||Acres: 5,639,919|
|2016 (1/1/16 - 8/1/16)||Fires: 34,391||Acres: 3,529,739|
|2015 (1/1/15 - 8/1/15)||Fires: 35,782||Acres: 5,650,307|
|2014 (1/1/14 - 8/1/14)||Fires: 33,720||Acres: 1,651,320|
|2013 (1/1/13 - 8/1/13)||Fires: 28,016||Acres: 2,336,185|
|2012 (1/1/12 - 8/1/12)||Fires: 37,576||Acres: 4,088,349|
|2011 (1/1/11 - 8/1/11)||Fires: 46,469||Acres: 6,104,883|
|2010 (1/1/10 - 8/1/10)||Fires: 37,474||Acres: 2,008,621|
|2009 (1/1/09 - 8/1/09)||Fires: 57,072||Acres: 3,647,431|
|2008 (1/1/08 - 8/1/08)||Fires: 57,072||Acres: 3,612,544|
|10-year average Year-to-Date|
|2008-2017||Fires: 40,079||Acres: 3,800,416|
Total Wildland Fires and Acres (1926-2017)
The National Interagency Coordination Center at NIFC compiles annual wildland fire statistics for federal and state agencies. This information is provided through Situation Reports, which have been in use for several decades. Prior to 1983, sources of these figures are not known, or cannot be confirmed, and were not derived from the current situation reporting process. As a result the figures prior to 1983 should not be compared to later data.
Historically Significant Wildland Fires
|October 1871||Peshtigo||Wisconsin and Michigan||3,780,000||1,500 lives lost in Wisconsin|
|1871||Great Chicago||Illinois||undetermined||250 lives lost|
|17,400 structures destroyed|
|September 1881||Lower Michigan||Michigan||2,500,000||169 lives lost|
|3,000 structures destroyed|
|September 1894||Hinckley||Minnesota||160,000||418 lives lost|
|September 1894||Wisconsin||Wisconsin||Several Million||Undetermined, some lives lost|
|February 1898||Series of South Carolina fires||South Carolina||3,000,000||Unconfirmed reports indicate 14 lives lost and numerous structures and sawmills destroyed|
|September 1902||Yacoult||Washington and Oregon||1,000,000 +||38 lives lost|
|April 1903||Adirondack||New York||637,000||Large amount of acreage burned|
|August 1910||Great Idaho||Idaho and Montana||3,000,000||85 lives lost|
|October 1918||Cloquet-Moose Lake||Minnesota||1,200,000||450 lives lost|
|38 communities destroyed|
|September 1923||Giant Berkley||California||undetermined||624 structures destroyed and 50 city blocks were leveled|