German insurance company Munich Re reports that Camp Fire which burned through Northern California, killed dozens of people, and burned down the town of Paradise was the world's costliest single natural disaster in 2018.
Company officials say the November wildfire caused overall losses of $16.5 billion. The firestorm destroyed thousands of homes and other structures, and reportedly about $12.5 billion in losses were insured.
Losses from all natural disasters reached $160 billion last year, and they exceeded the inflation-adjusted average of $140 billion for the last 30 years. However, the 2018 disaster claim dollar amount is below 2017's hurricane-driven high of $350 billion, according to Munich Re.
The way California deals with wildfires is now becoming a political issue with President Trump on Wednesday threatening to cut off federal funds to victims of the California wildfires. Trump took to Twitter this morning saying billions of dollars are sent to the state for fires that, with proper management, would never happen in California. He also wrote that he ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency not to send anymore money for forest management unless the state can figure things out. FEMA has approved nearly seven-thousand applications and 50-million-dollars in assistance related to the Camp Fire and southern California's Woolsey Fire.
The financial losses due to the Camp Fire extend utility giant Pacific, Gas and Electric. S&P slashed PG&E's credit rating to junk status as the company struggles with the political fallout from costly and deadly wildfires in California and the ongoing threat of lawsuits.