After doubling in size last Monday, the “Station Fire” inCalifornia threatened homes and commercial properties with a totalinsured value of more than $17 billion, modeling agencies AIRWorldwide and RMS reported.

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By midweek, the largest of theCalifornia wildfires, the Station Fire, had burned more than140,000 acres, destroying 62 dwellings.

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Stretching up to 25 miles east to west and 18 miles north tosouth, the blaze was not expected to be contained until Sept. 8 atthe earliest, according to reports.

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Kevin Long, a spokesperson for AIR Worldwide, emphasized thatthe $17 billion amount represents the total insured value of allthe properties within the fire's borders–not the figure expectedfor insured losses.

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The median home value for the area impacted by the Station Fireis just over $500,000, AIR said, and the $17 billion in totalinsured values breaks down to $5.4 billion in Glendale, $5.74billion in La Ca?ada and $5.9 billion in Altadena–the communitieswithin the border of the fire.

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Both AIR and RMS had reported that the Station Fire was only 5percent contained last Monday, but the figure had risen to 22percent by Wednesday, according to the Insurance InformationNetwork of California, which said weather was helping firefightingefforts.

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Pete Moraga, communications specialist with IINC, said the moodamong firefighters was more positive with lower winds and higherhumidity aiding in the fight.

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While local reports pushed the containment figure up to 38percent by Thursday morning, officials were still ordering someevacuations.

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Overall, risk modeler RMS said the multiple fires acrossCalifornia last week destroyed around 200 properties but continuedto threaten thousands more.

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The IINC noted that officials were reporting 62 “dwellings”destroyed by the Station Fire, but Mr. Moraga said there is someconfusion about what the term actually means. He said it could meanhomes as well as recreation cabins.

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Both IINC and RMS said around 12,000 homes remained threatenedon Wednesday, and IINC said an additional 500 commercial propertiesand 2,000 other structures were also threatened.

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By late on Wednesday last week, mandatory evacuations had beenlifted in some areas, including La Canada and Glendale, IINC noted.Communication towers and an observatory located on Mt. Wilson alsoappeared to have been saved, IINC said.

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Check NU Online News Service at www.property-casualty.com for updates.

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