Thousands of structures are still at risk as relentless Santa Ana winds continue to cause two new flare-ups in the past day. Crews are making progress on the Woolsey fire with 40 percent containment now. To the north, the Camp fire is still a concern, having grown in the last 24 hours. It seems each year that California wildfires, in particular, are growing more deadly and destructive. Citing the role of climate change, California Governor, Jerry Brown, declared, "This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal." Santa Ana winds, low humidity, and a dry ground created the perfect conditions for fires to spread rapidly, leaving many without notice, and some, without a way out.
Recent wildfires in Northern California, specifically in Napa and Sonoma counties, have sparked widespread devastation across the area to lives, homes, and businesses. Despite the fires still being active, and the numbers still being calculated, this event is already “the deadliest and most destructive series of wildfires in California history,” and among the worst in U.S. history. And with damages estimated between $3 billion and $6 billion (which could still rise), insurers may face another massive payout due to natural catastrophes in 2017. These devastating events are proof that data is the only line of defense for insurers. And, it’s more paramount than ever to gain a better understanding of how you can use data to better mitigate and underwrite wildfire risk going forward.
California wildfires burn a Paras Vineyards building burns in the Napa area Oct. 10, 2017 (courtesy of Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
This fall, it seems that we can’t catch a break from natural catastrophes and extreme weather. While many people have been eyeing the record-setting hurricanes we’ve seen over the last few months, wildfires in the West are rapidly competing for our attention. Northern California is the latest area to be hit by wildfires, and as of Thursday, they’ve burned for five days straight, with the worst occurring in Napa and Sonoma counties.
IronMan is RedZone’s favorite superhero. And, it’s no wonder because he is, of course, the most data-informed superhero.
If you don't know RedZone, now's the time to become acquainted and here's why: In the U.S. to date (January 1-August 16), 42,010 wildfires have been reported and 6,299,005 acres have burned. Compare this to 3,616,320 for the same period last year. That’s almost double. With staggering numbers like these, insurers need to take a lesson from IronMan and do everything possible to be more data informed.
Fact is, wildfire season is starting earlier, lasting longer, and increasing potential losses. SpatialKey data partner, RedZone, has the wildfire data and accumulation models insurers need to extinguish this ever-increasing threat. Get to know RedZone with this quick 2-minute infographic, and then watch our webinar to learn how the wildfire landscape is changing, and how to leverage wildfire data science to gain new insight.
The risk of wildfire is unlike any other, as today, 90 percent are caused by humans. That’s an alarming amount, considering all it would take is one inexperienced hiker failing to properly extinguish their campfire to scorch an entire mountain.
SpatialKey Inc is pleased to offer its insurance clients access to wildfire risk data from RedZone. RedZone provides the most accurate, up-to-date wildfire intelligence for underwriters, now immediately available in SpatialKey’s geospatial insurance analytics platform.