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Total Insured Losses From California Wildfires Triple

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio
Berkeley firefighter Matt George picks through the ash of a Santa Rosa neighborhood looking for smoldering materials. "It's unbelievable, the destruction," he says.

The total insured losses from California's deadly October wildfires has risen to $3.3 billion dollars.

This is triple the total announced by the state Department of Insurance two weeks ago.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says much of the damage happened in areas that were once considered lower risk.

He says, as a result, insurance companies could re-assess neighborhoods throughout the state and start to reduce coverage options.

"Now, it's early days yet, we don't know exactly how this is going to play out. We know that in some foothills communities of California, already homeowners are experiencing some challenges finding insurance," Jones said. 

Jones says the climate is changing, expanding the areas where wildfires pose a risk.

October's fires killed 43 people and destroyed or partially damaged nearly 15,000 homes, making the fires the deadliest — and among the costliest — in state history.

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