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Wildfire damage expected to worsen this fall

Althea Chang
Big Data Download
Wildfire damage expected to worsen this fall

The wildfire season has just started, already about 100 buildings have been destroyed by a fire near Yosemite National Park, and fire risk will remain high over the next few months, according to weather experts.

"It's been getting progressively warmer and drier across the southwestern portions of the U.S., therefore there's more opportunities for fires to start," said Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel.

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"There's more of us that are living in areas that are known as the 'wildfire urban interface' and so there's more susceptibility to damage from fires than there was 30 and 40 years ago. And we're seeing the reflection of that even this year," Walsh said.

California tends to bear the brunt of wildfire season, and this year isn't expected to be any different.

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"As we move into the end of this month and more importantly into September and October and those Santa Ana winds kick up, which is what really drives the big fire risk in California, we're looking at a potentially very dangerous situation as we move through the balance of the year," Walsh said.

As a result, property damage is likely to continue to rise, pushing property and casualty insurance premiums higher well, Walsh said.

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