Large-loss fires in the United States

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Report: NFPA's "Large-Loss Fires in the United States" (PDF)
AuthorStephen G. Badger
Issued: November 2016

This report contains overall statistics from NFPA's annual study of large-loss fires, defined as fires or explosions that result in property damage of at least $10 million. The data for this study is obtained by the NFPA from responding fire departments. The report includes patterns of loss by type of property, cause of fire, and presence and effectiveness of automatic detection and suppression systems. The report also includes a detailed description of each fire.

Report highlights

  • In 2015, 27 large-loss fires resulted in a total of $2.5 billion in direct property losses (0.002 percent of the estimated number of fires in 2015, but 18 percent of the total estimated dollar loss).
  • The largest fire in terms of direct property loss was the Valley fire in California with a loss of $1.5 billion, making 2015 the ninth out of the past 10 years that had a wildfire as the largest-loss fire of the year.
  • A second wildland fire, the Butte fire, accounted for another $450 million in direct property losses.
  • In all, there were 20 structure fires, five wildland urban interface fires, and two aircraft fires.

Large Loss fires by major property use - 2015