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Black Forest Fire Preliminary Insurance Costs Total $300 Million

Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault
4th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division

3,630 auto and insurance claims have been filed since the June wildfire according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. Executive Director Carole Walker expects that number will grow.

“People have most times up to a year or more to file claims. So we will continue to see claims to come in and certainly insured losses continue to go up,” she said.

This estimate makes the Black Forest Fire the second most expensive in state history, exceeded by the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire.

Walker says there are a number of factors that could explain this. Waldo Canyon is a more densely populated suburban area where the number of structures lost (347) translated closely to homes. In Black Forest, which is more rural, there is more variance among the 486 structures lost, which includes  barns, outbuildings and other structures that aren’t primary residences.

“I think you’re going to see a bigger variance in that when it comes to Black Forest compared to Waldo Canyon,” she said.

In Northern Colorado, the High Park Firelast June had an insured loss damage estimate of almost $115 million, making it 4th among Colorado's most expensive wildfires.

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