http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef015436f82254970c-piA fire truck drives past a home destroyed by the Fourmile Canyon Fire west of Boulder, Colorado, on September 11, 2010. For a description of the burn patterns and building construction on the Fourmile Canyon Fire, see "Tour of the Fourmile Canyon Fire: Questions Raised, Answers Pending," a blog posting from June 27, 2011 on NFPA's Firewise website, firewise.org.
The new issue of NFPA Journal features an article by Stephen G. Badger on the "Large-Loss Fires in the United States in 2010." The Fourmile Canyon Fire was the largest of the 17 large-loss fires that occurred in the United States last year. Large-loss fires and explosions are defined as incidents that cause at least $10 million in direct property loss.
Each year, NFPA reports on the previous year’s large-loss fires, tracking and verifying loss information reported in the media or by other sources. The 17 large-loss fires of 2010 are only those fires for which we obtained an official dollar loss.
According to “Fire Loss in the United States During 2010” [September/October], U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,331,500 fires in 2010 that caused an estimated loss of $11.6 billion. Many of these fires were small or resulted in little or no reported property damage. However, the 17 that resulted in losses greater than $10 million each, caused a total of roughly $950 million in direct property losses. Although these fires accounted for only 0.001% of the estimated number of fires in 2010, they accounted for 5.6% of the total estimated dollar loss.