SACRAMENTO — Insurance claims from last fall's deadly California wildfires have reached $11.8 billion, making it the most expensive series of wildfires in state history, an official said Wednesday.
The staggering number exceeds the total insurance claims from the top 10 previously most costly wildfires in California.
Until last year, California's most expensive single fire was the 1991 East Bay Hills fire that prompted $2.7 billion in claims in today's dollars, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute.
If treated as one disaster, the combined fires in October and December 2017 "represent one of the most damaging natural catastrophes in California history," Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said at a news conference in Los Angeles.
For comparison, insured losses from the 1994 Northridge earthquake -- the costliest quake to strike the United States -- were nearly $26 billion in 2017 dollars, according to data from the insurance institute.