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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: November 2019


Report highlights

  • In 2018 the three largest-loss fires in 2018 were all wildfires that occurred in wildland/urban interface (WUI) communities in California. These fires killed 92 people, destroyed more than 22,000 structures, and burned almost 480,000 acres (194,249 hectares).
  • In 2018, there were 36 fires that resulted in a total of more than $12.91 billion in direct property damage and losses.

  • Thirty-six is the highest number of large-loss incidents since 2007, when there were 47 such fires.

  • Of the 36 large-loss fires in 2018, 28 involved structures and resulted in a total property loss of $529 million The other non-structural fires included six WUI fires for a loss of $12.36 billion, and two vehicle fires, an aircraft and cargo ship with a loss of $28 million. These fires resulted in a combined loss of $12.4 billion.

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