Claims News Service, July 6, 2:47 p.m. EDT — According toInsurance Services Office, from 1990 through 2003, property lossesfrom catastrophic wildland fires amounted to $6.3 billion. Thecostliest event was the 1991 Oakland Hills, Calif., fire thatcaused property damage of $2.4 billion in inflation-adjusted 2005dollars. The insured losses from two wildfires in San Diego and SanBernardino Counties in 2003 came to $2.2 billion.

To help identify areas at risk for wildfires and limit insuranceclaim payments, ISO offers satellite technology to pinpoint aproperty's risk. Its geographic information system, FireLine,focuses on three key risk factors — fuel, slope, and road access —to assess the wildfire risk for each property, down to the streetaddress.

According to the company, FireLine uses technology developed byNASA — digital elevation models, satellite images, and street maps— to manage wildfire exposures and educate homeowners andbusinesses on brushfire hazards. For example, according to ISO,when wildfires set a large part of California ablaze in 2003,FireLine was able to classify nearly 98 percent of the geographicarea burned as fuels. Almost all affected properties (99 percent)were within 2,500 feet of areas that FireLine had identified asheavy or medium fuels.

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