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Witch Fire Was Nation's Second Largest Disaster of 2007

October's Witch Fire in San Diego county was the the nation's second-largest disaster of 2007, according to the records of an insurance industry information center. KPBS reporter Alan Ray has the stor

Witch Fire Was Nation's Second Largest Disaster of 2007

October's Witch Fire in San Diego county was the the nation's second-largest disaster of 2007, according to the records of an insurance industry information center. KPBS reporter Alan Ray has the story.

Insured losses in the Witch Fire totaled $1.1 billion. Gary Kerney is an Assistant Vice President with Property Claims Services. He says it's not likely insurers will stop writing fire coverage as a result of the October losses.  

Kerney: I think the risk is well known. I think there are measures that can be taken where people can protect their properties. Building fire defense lines, things of that sort. Using materials that are more fire resistant. With those kinds of things in mind, folks can certainly make it easier for them...and their insurance companies...to make decisions about insuring those properties and keeping them out of harm's way as best they can.

Kerney says the discovery that so many home fires were started by wind-driven embers blowing through open vents, may offer new clues about how to protect homes and reduce the damage in the fire next time. But he says people can only do so much.

Alan Ray KPBS News.

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