In 2015, the nation’s largest fire in terms of direct property loss was the Valley Fire that occurred in California. Three days after that fire began, the next-biggest large-loss fire of the year, the Butte Fire, also broke out in California.
Both of these fires ranked among the most costly in the state’s history, according to NFPA’s “Fire Loss in the United States During 2015” report, published in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal. Combined, the fires destroyed thousands of homes and other structures, were blamed for at least six deaths, and resulted in a loss of almost $2 billion dollars. These fires rank as the second- and fourth-largest wildfire losses in the state in the past 10 years. With the Valley and Butte Fires, 2015 was the ninth year out of the past 10 that a wildfire topped the list of the year’s biggest large-loss fires.
NFPA reports annually on large-loss fires and explosions that occurred in the U.S. the year before, defined as an event that results in property damage of at least $10 million. Get a breakdown and/or read the full report, including information and statistics on large-loss wildfires, in the latest issue of the Journal.
Photograph: Valley Fire/CA; Reuters images