Record-breaking Texas fires to drive losses in hundreds of millions USD

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According to Aon, the Smokehouse Creek Fire in Texas has already burned more than a million acres, becoming one of the largest fires in recorded state history and potentially contributing to total aggregate losses in the hundreds of millions USD.

Aon’s weekly cat report explained that hot and windy conditions have accelerated wildfire growth in the southern United States since February 26, leading to several destructive fires in the Texas Panhandle.

As per Texas authorities on March 1, the official figure is over 1.26m acres burned across 131 different fires. There has also been one fatality recorded, alongside thousands of evacuations, and many damaged homes and structures.

There are suggestions that the number of properties and homes destroyed is already in the hundreds, though officials have stated it is too early to give any accurate figures.

Aon observed that although the event is still unfolding, given the current damage assessments and record-breaking figures, total economic and insured losses could reach the hundreds of millions of USD.

The East Amarillo Complex Fire from March 2006 previously held the record after burning over 907,000 acres of land, reportedly claiming at least 12 lives, destroying about 100 homes, and generating around $150 million (2024 inflated) in economic losses.

In other news, CoreLogic recently stated that the Smokehouse Creek Fire was caused by errors with electrical transmission and distribution systems, fuelled by the aforementioned dry and windy conditions.

It is worth noting that fires caused by issues with electrical transmission equipment can result in legal action against the utilities owning those transmission lines.

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