The wildfire that started near the town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui and ravaged thousands of acres is estimated to have cost insurers about $3.2 billion, according to one risk-modeling firm.
(Bloomberg) — The wildfire that started near the town of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui and ravaged thousands of acres is estimated to have cost insurers about $3.2 billion, according to one risk-modeling firm.
The estimate from Karen Clark & Co. is the latest data point underscoring the cost of rebuilding after the deadliest US wildfires in more than a century. They killed at least 99 people, according to a tally from Maui County. Federal estimates peg overall damage at more than $5.5 billion.
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A Karen Clark analysis of satellite and aerial imagery indicates that more than 2,200 structures fell within the perimeter of the Lahaina fire, with an additional 3,000 structures impacted by smoke or other secondary effects. The majority of damaged buildings were residential, although some commercial properties were also hit.
The fire — one of four on the island being tracked by authorities — has burned an estimated 2,170 acres and was 85% contained as of Monday, the county said in a statement. The other blazes resulted in “minimal insured losses” because they occurred in more rural areas, Karen Clark said.
The risk-modeler cited a “high proportion of wood frame and older construction” in Lahaina’s building inventory as one potential reason for the heavy damage.
“In Hawaii, the dry season is becoming hotter and drier due to climate change, which leaves the state more vulnerable to brush fires and wildfires,” the firm wrote in its report.
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