Large wildfires in the United States and Canada in 2015 and 2016, have highlighted a dangerous trend: wildfires are getting worse in frequency and severity, leading to greater destruction of property. In fact, 2015 was a record-breaking wildfire season. Wildfires, heat waves and drought produced $1.9 billion in insured losses in 2015, and set a new record for the number of acres burned in the United States.

Between January 1 and December 30, 2015, there were 68,151 wildfires across North America, which burned 10,125,149 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). During the same period in 2014, 63,417 fires burned 3,577,620 acres.

From 1996 to 2015, fires (including wildfires) accounted for 1.8 percent of insured catastrophe losses in the United States, totaling about $6.4 billion, according to Property Claim Services® (PCS®), a unit of Verisk Insurance Solutions.

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