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California May Seek Insurance To Help With Wildfire Costs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Two statewide officials want California to take out insurance to help cover taxpayers’ costs in bad wildfire seasons. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Treasurer Fiona Ma said Thursday that California should follow the lead of Oregon and the federal government, after outspending its emergency fund in seven of the last 10 years. California spent nearly $950 million two years ago, about $450 million more than was budgeted and by far the highest annual cost. It spent about $677 million last year, as wildfires again swept through cities and suburbs along with more rural areas. California has experienced 11 of the top 20 most destructive fires in its history since 2007. The officeholders are teaming with Democratic state Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa to propose that California seek the insurance coverage.