INFOGRAPHIC | Fires in the United States, a problem of 20 billion dollars

California fire / Photo: MIA

Natural disasters often associated with unusually high temperatures such as wildfires and droughts were responsible for $18 billion in losses in the United States in 2022, only half of which were insured, according to management consulting and reinsurance providers. Aon and Munich Re.

Aon classifies a natural disaster as an event that causes more than $25 million in property losses, ten deaths, 50 injuries, or 2.000 claims or damaged homes and structures. Estimated losses are easing after reaching a record high in 2018, according to the data.

In this particular year, Munich Re estimated losses of about $25 billion on American soil. About $56 million in insured losses are associated with the Mendocino Complex fire, which has been categorized as one of California's largest wildfires in modern history. The wildfires burned 459.000 hectares and lasted from late July to early January 2019.

These disasters were overshadowed by the 2020 wildfire season in the western United States, which caused 47 deaths, burned 10,2 million acres, and destroyed more than 13.000 fires in more than 1000 structures in four months.

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, climate change is one of the main drivers of increased forest fire activity worldwide. The increased heat and prolonged drought caused in parts by increased emissions and global warming are creating favorable conditions for wildfires, which are more likely to spread further and burn longer in dry conditions.

In addition to destroying structures and causing death and serious injury, wildfires contribute to the global loss of tree cover. As the estimates show Global Forest Watch, a total tree cover loss of 2022 million hectares was recorded in 56, of which 16,6 million were attributed to forest fires.

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