Now that Colorado's fires have died down, experts are turning their attention to California, which may have an early start to its wildfire season. Some specialists feel that there may be severe fires in the state in the upcoming months, especially since there haven't been any major fires in the state in the last five years, according to the Insurance Journal.
Often, such fires happen due to hot, dry winds with speeds of 40 mph or higher that come in the months of September or October. This year, however, the state has plenty of unburned fuel that could make an even greater impact on stating a wildfire.
In 2007, these dry winds led to flames destroying 518,021 acres, 2,180 homes and 3,107 other structures. Five years ago, insured losses from these fires totalled $2.3 billion.
"We're looking at above average fire potential for much of the Great Basin," Heath Hockenberry, national fire weather program manager for the National Weather Service, said to the news source. "In August, September, October, we're looking at above average [fire] potential for areas like the Sierra Nevadas. Lack of precipitation in the winter is still straining the fuels. It looks like above normal potential for the rest of the season."
At this point in the season, California has already had a more minor wildfire, when compared to the damages of five years ago. The Associated Press reported that 1,600 acres have been consumed in Western Colusa County where crews are attempting to contain the fire.
In mid-July, the fire was 10 percent contained. Officials stated that initially five separate fires started and two fused together, but the rest have been put out.
The high temperatures and dry conditions in California could lead to an intense wildfire season and much damage, bringing a high amount of claims processing for insurers in the state. Outsourcing to a claims vendor organization that can also provide contents services may be the best option.