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10/17/2012 - Wildfire threat can last into the late fall


Wildfire risk remains high, despite the changing seasons.

Even though the summer may have long since passed, the risk for a wildfire remains. As such, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America says everyone should be prepared.

According to data PCI obtained from the Insurance Information Network of California, more than 2 million properties in the Golden State are at risk for wildfire, as the wildfire season in the western states is generally longer and the risk more severe.

Christopher Hackett, director of personal lines for PCI, indicated that this past year has been a not-so-subtle reminder to homeowners of just how threatening Mother Nature can be.

"2012 has been a very destructive fire season and the risk of additional fires still persists," said Hackett. "It is not uncommon for dangerous wind driven firestorms to occur in the months of October and November in California."

He added that renters and homeowners should be sure to update their property insurance plans, and to perform some of the tasks that can minimize the impact resulting from a wildfire. This includes performing a home inventory and doing some routine maintenance around a residence, such as clearing the area of flammable brush and vegetation.

He added that even in parts of the country that don't see wildfires often, residents should perform these preparatory steps also, as fires can be caused by lightning strikes when conditions have been especially dry.

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