The fire insurance policy that the state of Oregon purchased from Lloyd’s of London did not kick in this year since the net expenses of suppressing state-responsibility wildfires did not exceed the $50 policy deductible. If it had, their additional costs could have been covered up to $25 million. Premiums for this coverage were split between state and private timberland owners, who agreed to pay $3.75 million into the policy.
Below is an excerpt from an article in the La Grande Observer:
…As of Oct. 19, the ODF had recorded 1,001 fires, 73 more than their 10-year average, according to a letter from [Oregon Department of Forestry State Forester Doug] Decker sent to the co-chairs of the Oregon Joint Committee on Ways and Means last month. Those fires burned 91,487 acres of ODF-protected land, 63,948 acres more than the 10-year average.
The Forestry Department estimates that its large-fire costs for this season sit at $76.7 million, compared to the 10-year average of $22.3 million, Decker wrote in the letter.
Decker said about $19.5 million will be reimbursed by FEMA’s grant program. Another $25.5 million is expected to be recovered from other partners. Still, the ODF is requesting more than $19.5 million of general fund dollars to cover the state’s portion of large-fire costs, according to the letter.