Wildfire has had profound implications both for and because of climate change, for ecosystems, for communities, and for public health and safety. Wildfire has also had major economic consequences. Loss of housing, loss of commercial space, loss of public infrastructure, loss of crops, and loss of tourist revenue all add up to tens of billions of dollars a year just in the United States. The risk of wildfire conspiring with a lack of adequate governance and safety practices led to devastating financial losses and convictions on 84 counts of manslaughter for one of the largest utilities in the country. This week’s chart is from Munich Re and NatCatSERVICE by way of the Insurance Information Institute showing wildfire losses over the last decade (expressed in millions). Note that the spike in 2017 was so significant that the data from prior years is swamped by scale. While 2019 appears to have been a more modest loss year on par with earlier in the decade, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (nifc.gov) as of October 19th this year nearly twice as many acres have burned as by the 19th of last year, on pace with 2018 and 2019. The tale has yet to be written but that would suggest another likely spike in insured and uninsured losses. Economic loss is as much about the incidence of wildfire as it is the private encroachment on wild spaces. People increasingly work, farm and live in vulnerable forested and grassed spaces based on a history of relative fire scarcity that no longer exists. Without addressing both the climate systems issues to mitigate fire risk, and the resiliency of communities and businesses in the face of more frequent and prevalent fire, economic losses will continue to climb.