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The 2024 Wildfire Season Outlook

The 2024 wildfire season is here, with April 1 – October 1 designated as the wildfire season in California. Residents and business owners can still take precautions to prepare for the season — and agents can help their policyholders manage their risks throughout the year.

Learn what the 2024 wildfire season may look like in this blog.


The 2024 Wildfire Season Outlook

While wildfires are possible any time of year, peak season in California is usually July – October when dry winds blow across the state and the brush is dry from summertime droughts. The wildfire season can last a little longer — into November or December — in Southern California depending on the first rainfall. Northern California usually sees its first rain in October, shortening the wildfire season a slight bit.

CalFire has predicted a diverse year for wildfires based on changing weather patterns. The agency predicted higher early-spring rainfall but noted the snowpack remains very low at 30% of normal conditions. These conditions could lead to a dryer-than-usual summer, creating the possibility of worsening wildfires. But the atmospheric river events in February drenched parts of Southern California, as more than 12 inches of rain fell in Los Angeles.

Some sources, like the National Interagency Fire Center, are calling for a slow start to the wildfire season in California with below-average activity predicted. But while the California wildfire season may have a slow start, the Smokehouse Creek wildfire in Texas and western Oklahoma has become the largest wildfire in Texas history burning more than a million acres.

Other sources seem to support that this wildfire season may be a mild one, with the warning that it may be too soon to tell. But even if the frequency and severity of wildfires is reduced this year, residents and businesses around California must still be prepared for wildfire season.


How to Help Policyholders Prepare for Wildfire Season

Here are some ways to help your policyholders prepare for wildfire season:


Do an annual insurance check-up. 

Inflation, supply chain costs, and costs of labor have risen, which means it may cost more to repair or replace damaged property if a covered loss happens. Offer an insurance check-up annually with your policyholders to confirm their coverage is still adequate.

Recommend fire-proofing and other risk mitigation measures. 

Agents and brokers can offer tips and advice for homeowners and business owners who want to take steps to fire-proof their property. Fire-resistant construction materials, maintaining a defensible zone around structures, and installing ember-resistant roof vents and tiles are all steps that can help lower the fire risk of properties. CalFire offers resources with helpful lists for property owners.

Help with non-renewals. 

Many consumers are facing difficulties with non-renewals. It is a possibility for all policyholders across California that they will receive a non-renewal notice as the state continues to be a challenge for insurance companies. Agents can help policyholders manage the non-renewal process should they be denied coverage, including offering risk management and mitigation advice and help navigating the California FAIR plan.


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