California wildfires costs soaring past last year’s records

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Insurance claims and cleanup costs associated with California wildfires last month are expected to exceed the record-breaking amounts paid out last year after blazes ripped through the state’s wine country.

California Insurance Commissioner Davy Jones says he will release preliminary claims data Wednesday morning for the three wildfires last month that destroyed 19,000 homes and businesses.

The insurance industry is bracing for payouts exceeding last year’s record $11.8 billion payments to Northern California fire victims.

The California Office of Emergency Service says it will cost at least $3 billion to clear debris. Most of the work will occur in Northern California, where the Camp Fire destroyed the city of Paradise and killed at least 86 people

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