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County reports $725 million loss from Kincade Fire, evacuations, PG&E power shutoffs

The Kincade Fire, evacuations and four PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs last fall cost Sonoma County $725 million in economic losses, according to a report to the county’s Board of Supervisors.

The report by the Moody’s Analytics research company said the fire and the evacuation of residents between Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 cost $620 million in losses, about 2 percent of the county’s total economic output, and the power shutoffs between Oct. 9 and Nov. 20 cost $105 million — between 0.33 and 1 percent of the economic output.

Sonoma County Incident Map The Kincade Fire was approaching Windsor, Calif. on the evening of Sunday, October 27, 2019. The fire, at 10 percent contained in the morning, had gone down to 5 percent containment after the day’s extreme wind.

The Kincade Fire that started northeast of Geyserville near The Geysers geothermal complex burned 77,758 acres and destroyed 374 structures, 174 of them residences. Sixty structures were damaged, 35 of them residential.

Almost 195,000 residents, or 39 percent of the county’s population, were affected by the four power shutoffs, and the average resident was disrupted by any single shutoff for 2.5 days, according to the Moody’s Analytics report.

Sonoma County officials said 185,000 residents were evacuated during the Kincade Fire.

Sonoma County Sheriff's Office The Kincade Fire, nearing Windsor, Calif., burned at least 54,298 acres since blaze began Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Heavy smoke traveled throughout the Bay Area.

The lost output per resident because of the fire and power shutoffs was approximately $765 — less than 2 percent of the median household income for residents. The loss of output per business was approximately $16,500, according to the report.

The report said Sonoma County’s population fell by almost 0.7 percent in 2018 after the October 2017 wildfires in Sonoma County, the sharpest drop in a half-century. The report, however, said housing affordability and cost of living are more significant factors for the loss of population.

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