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Safety net home insurance plans are becoming the only option for many in disaster-prone states

May 20, 2024
As private insurance companies retreat in states hit by climate-fueled disasters, safety net insurance plans are left to fill the gap.
At his two-acre property in San Diego County, Paul Felber gotten rid of much of the flammable vegetation bordering his home and spent more than $60,000 to harden it against wildfire. But home insurance companies weren’t impressed. In the last five years, the Felbers were dropped by two different companies.
Scott Rodd/KPBS

A look back at the 2020 Creek Fire and a harrowing escape

Apr 4, 2024
Nearly 250 campers had to be airlifted out of the Sierra Nevada mountains after the fire trapped them at a lake.
Years after the 2020 Creek Fire, parts of the Sierra National Forest remain denuded and bare, like this section being surveyed and restored by workers with the U.S. Forest Service in August of 2023.
Kerry Klein/KVPR

Long after wildfires race through rural communities, mobile home parks still await rebuilding

May 25, 2022
In September 2020, blazes destroyed many homes and RVs in mobile home parks. Rebuilding plans call for publicly funded affordable housing.
Charred tree stumps and barren home pads are among the few remnants of the Lazy Days mobile home park site in Blue River, Oregon.
Mitchell Hartman/Marketplace

California's wildfire building codes make newer homes less likely to burn

Apr 1, 2022
But up to 14 million homes were built before fire safety measures took effect. Some insurers now offer discounts for risk reduction.
Jim and Ann Pesout's house in Northern California before it burned down in the Butte Fire in 2015.
Courtesy Jim and Ann Pesout

Massive power shut-off would cost businesses in California

Oct 8, 2019
As the risk of wildfire and natural disasters increase with climate change, power disruptions could become more common.
Towers carrying electrical lines in south San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California utility is reportedly considering bankruptcy after wildfires

Jan 7, 2019
California lawmakers are back in session after a holiday break, and a new governor is in place. One of the sticky issues all those folks might have to confront is what to do about the troubled utility Pacific Gas and Electric. The investor-owned utility provides gas and electricity to more than 5 million Californians. And […]

Devastated Northern California marijuana farms are ineligible for insurance

Oct 23, 2017
While legal in the state, cannabis farms are still federally outlawed, which means no insurance payouts.
Wildfire burns through a forest west of Napa, California, on Oct. 12, 2017.
David McNew/Getty Images

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Smoke from this season’s wildfires is worrying West Coast winemakers

Sep 29, 2017
Notes of ashtray or campfire in your pinot? Vineyards say smoky weather from this year’s wildfires could leave lasting mark on wines.
Jocelyn Bentley-Prestwich, the marketing manager at Cathedral Ridge Winery in Hood River, Oregon, tests the ripeness of the vineyard's Riesling grapes. 
Molly Solomon/ for Marketplace

How small businesses are affected by wildfires

Oct 8, 2015
In Bastrop, Texas, even if your home was spared, it doesn't mean your income was.

A Texas county, 4 years after state's worst wildfire

Oct 2, 2015
Bastrop County, in the dry piney woods, not only is rebuilding, it's growing.