With a drought already in place, the season has begun in a disastrous way.
The historic droughts that have already been wreaking havoc across the United States have kicked off California wildfires season earlier than usual, and the insurance industry is now predicting that the costs of the damage will be as high as $1.8 billion.
This cost represents about $500,000 more than the amount available for fire control resources.
The California wildfires aren’t the only ones that are now raging. Oklahoma has also found itself battling seven fires, already, in May. This is typically the time of the year that is the most quiet for that state. Moreover, Texas has also seen four times the burned acres from January through May as were experienced during the same period of time in 2013. Now in California, the season for these natural disasters appears to be getting a head start over its typical pace. This indicates that there will be the necessity for hundreds of additional battles to contain the blazes throughout this most populous state in the country.
The California wildfires appear to be setting up for a highly expensive and quite dangerous season.
The insurance industry is also bracing for the early wave of claims that is expected to begin. Officials are reminding consumers and companies to check their business and homeowners insurance policies to be sure that they understand the coverage that they have, and the amount for which they are protected. If adjustments need to be made, the time to do so is right now.
According to Cal Fire spokesperson, Daniel Berlant, “Drought has set the stage for a very busy and very dangerous fire season.” Cal Fire is the term used for the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which is based in Sacramento. Berlant also pointed out that “From Jan. 1 through the end of April, we responded to 1,250 wildfires. In an average year for that same time period, we would have responded to fewer than 600.”
It looks as though the season for California wildfires, this year, is going to continue a trend that was set over the last decade that brings together dry vegetation, high temperatures, and a growing number of people who live in wooded regions. The dry grass, brush, and hardwood provide fires with plenty of food to grow and travel. This requires a great deal more personnel, resources, and money, to keep the blazes under control.