The Real Deal Los Angeles

Real estate damages from Woolsey Fire now estimated at $5B

Flames in LA and Ventura counties destroyed 1,643 structures, damaged 364 others
November 28, 2018 03:00PM

Caption: The Woolsey Fire destroyed 1,643 structures and damaged 364 others. (Credit: Matthew Simmons at Getty Images)

The Woolsey Fire that destroyed thousands of structures earlier this month in Los Angeles and Ventura counties is now estimated to have caused up to $5 billion in real estate damages.

Property data firm CoreLogic projects total losses from the fire at $3.5 to $4.5 billion in residential property damage, and up to $500 million in damage to commercial properties, the OC Register first reported. The Woolsey Fire lasted over a week, and in addition three lives and injured three firefighters.

The fire, in which three people died and three firefighters were injured, destroyed 1,643 structures. It also damaged 364 others, and burned 96,949 acres of land.

CoreLogic’s report estimated total losses by calculating the property value of those buildings, their contents, and expenses incurred by property owners. Property owners with insurance would have their losses covered.

But the increasing number of wildfires over the past few years throughout California — where an estimated 1.7 million homes are considered highly prone to fire damage — has challenged and overburdened some firms, and caused some insurers to pull back.

In response, experts have called for caution when it comes to zoning particularly risky areas, and when rebuilding destroyed infrastructure. [OC Register]Gregory Cornfield