California’s 2018 wildfires caused damage worth 0.7% of US GDP: Study


Team Udayavani, Dec 8, 2020, 5:39 PM IST

California’s 2018 wildfires caused economic losses of nearly $150 billion, about 0.7% of US’ GDP that year, a study in which University of California participated said.

Researchers found that direct capital impact accounted for $27.7 billion, while $32.2 billion came from the health effects of air pollution. They added disruption of economic supply chains indirectly caused $88.6 billion in losses.

More than 8,500 separate fires burned 1.9 million acres, making them the deadliest and most destructive in any year in California history.

According to Phys.org, Climate change, land and fire management, population and economic growth, and increasing community encroachment in the wildland-urban interface have combined to increase the frequency and severity of wildfires in the Western United States over the past few decades, culminating in enormously damaging blazes in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

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