Loss From 2 Fires Estimated At Nearly $450 Million

Damages From High Park Fire, Waldo Canyon Fire Make 2012 Most Expensive Wildfire Season

The High Park Fire and the Waldo Canyon Fire have cost nearly $450 million in damage to homes and vehicles, according to early insurance estimates provided by the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information.

Insurance adjusters are still inspecting properties and working with residents, and while the claims and rebuilding process continues, preliminary damage estimates now total $449.7 million from insurance claims that include smoke damage, additional living expenses, damaged and destroyed homes, as well as personal belongings and vehicles.

The estimated insured losses make the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs Colorado’s most expensive wildfire with insurance costs totaling more than $352.6 million from approximately 4,300 claims filed so far. Officials put the number of homes destroyed at 346.

The High Park Fire near Fort Collins burned 259 homes and based on the nearly 850 insurance claims filed so far the insurance costs are estimated at $97.1 million. These estimates do not include commercial losses.

Before this year, 2010’s Fourmile Canyon Fire was the state’s most costly wildfire with an estimated $224 million in insured damage when adjusted for inflation in today’s dollars.

"The 2012 Wildfire Season is a heartbreaking reminder to Coloradans that the wildfire threat is very real in our state and can exact a price that is both personally devastating and costly in terms of insurance damage," said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

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