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Large-loss fires in the United States

Report: NFPA's "Large-Loss Fires in the United States"
AuthorStephen G. Badger
Issued: December 2021


Report highlights

  • The costliest fire incident of 2020 was in a California wildfire referred to as the “2020 Fire Siege.” No exact total dollar loss has been released, but a partial loss of at least $4.2 billion has been confirmed. This loss estimate could increase by several billion dollars over time.
  • In 2020, there were 28 large-loss fires and explosions, resulting in an estimated $8.1 billion in direct property damage and losses. Ten of these fires resulted in more than $20 million in property damage each.
  • Of the 28 large-loss fires in 2020, 23 involved structures and resulted in a total property loss of $822.6 million.There were five non-structural fires which includes three wildland/urban interface fires; one vehicle fire, and one fire involving a storage area outside of a structure. The non-structural fires had a combined loss of $7.2 billion.
  • In 2020, there were three fires that each resulted in a loss of more than $100 million —a wildland fire, a Navy ship fire, and a large warehouse fire—which caused a combined loss of $7.5 billion.

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