An experienced fire loss adjuster, William Welsome serves as director of operations with Atlas Adjusting, Inc., a company that represents businesses and homeowners who deal with insurance firms after experiencing a large insured loss. William Welsome recently helped more than 150 families and businesses with their claims as a result of the butte and lake fires in California. The butte fire killed two people and burned more than 70,000 acres and 900 structures.
A wildfire is an uncontrolled blaze often made more intense by droughts and high winds, and which can burn acres of land in just minutes moving at speeds of up to 14 miles an hour. Every year, more than 100,000 wildfires burn up to 5 million acres in the US. Hot, dry winds often aggravate wildfires in California. Dead trees in the state, estimated at 66 million, are also another factor for California fires.
Firefighters eliminate one of the three factors which make up the so called fire triangle: fuel, oxygen, and heat. A single wildfire may char tens of thousands of acres and involve the efforts of hundreds of firefighters to get it under control. Once a wildfire starts, the damage is hard to predict, with thousands of trees being destroyed, as well as ground cover, houses and other structures. Wildlife and human life are also lost.
Humans cause four out of five wildfires, so it’s natural to conclude that most wildfires could be prevented. People should always remember to be smart where fire is involved in high risk areas, and never leave any kind of fire unattended, or use fireworks in prohibited places, as even a single spark or ember may be carried by a strong wind, starting a wildfire unbeknownst to its originator.