The good news is, 2015 was a slow news year in the really-bad-things-happening on the natural hazard front. Wildfire, flood, hurricane, wind, hail, tornado, earthquake and sinkhole events trended down in total.
But, specifically as regards two of those areas, wildfire and floods, everybody knows it wasn't a quiet year at all. CoreLogic natural hazard risk maven Tom Jeffery observes that even when the total number of hazard events and damages and loss related to those events tallies up on the low side, it doesn't mean there aren't some major disasters to get excited about. Jeffery writes:
Wildfire activity in 2015 was the worst in recorded history with more than 3.5 million acres burned in 2015, which is much higher than the total of 6,579,250 from the previous 15 years. This high level of wildfire activity had been expected for several years because of the drought in the western U.S., specifically in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas. Although areas that burned in 2015 are much less likely to have a wildfire return in the short term, the risk for wildfire in 2016 remains very high. According to CoreLogic data, 192,242 properties in the western U.S. are at very high risk of wildlife exposure with a total estimated reconstruction value (RCV) of almost $50 billion.