September 8, 2020
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Wildfires did heavy damage to the state over the Labor Day weekend, with over 80 fires ignited and more than 300,000 acres burned. Blazes destroyed the entire town of Malden, south of Spokane.
“Our state is being heavily impacted by wildfire and firefighting resources are stretched to their limit,” said Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. "I urge all Washington residents to do their part to be fire safe and prepare their homes and property for wildfire risk.”
If you are affected by a wildfire:
- Get information about filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster.
- Tips for filing insurance claims after a fire (PDF).
- Learn about how homeowners can prepare for wildfire risk.
- If you need help or have questions about insurance in Washington state, contact our consumer hotline.
Wildfires are a risk statewide, so homeowners should take the following steps to prepare:
- Review your policy to make sure it includes adequate replacement coverage in the event your home is damaged or destroyed by a wildfire.
- Buy special coverage to protect specific valuables, such as jewelry, fine art, and other items that may have limited coverage under your homeowner policy.
- Prepare a household inventory to document belongings you would need to replace (PDF, www.naic.org).
- Prepare for emergencies, including a “go” bag in the event you have to evacuate (emd.wa.gov).
- Do your part to prevent fires -- 90% of Washington’s wildfires are caused by humans and are preventable. Follow outdoor burning restrictions and public lands closures (dnr.wa.gov).
- Find statewide Washington Wildfire Resources, including information for people being evacuated (governor.wa.gov).
Heavy winds are blowing smoke into Western Washington, causing poor air quality and health risks for outdoor activity and vulnerable populations. Get information about how to protect yourself: