July 7, 2016 8:05 am
Updated: July 7, 2016 8:09 pm

Fort McMurray wildfire: $3.6B in damage, says Insurance Bureau of Canada

WATCH ABOVE: At $3.58 billion dollars, the Fort McMurray wildfire is most expensive disaster in Canadian history. Fletcher Kent reports on the Insurance Bureau of Canada's numbers.


The Insurance Bureau of Canada says insured damage caused by the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta., totalled $3.58 billion, making it the most expensive disaster for insurers in the country’s history.

The fires in May forced the evacuation of almost 90,000 residents from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and destroyed about 2,400 homes and other buildings.

People have since been allowed back into the community, but it took nearly two months before a state of emergency could be lifted.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘The beast’ finally under control

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The bureau said the estimate will be the first based on data collected by Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc., a company that compiles insured loss amounts based on surveys with insurers.

The costliest insured disaster in Canadian history was the Quebec ice storm of 1998, which forced insurers to pay out $1.9 billion in constant 2014 dollars, according to a 2015 IBC annual report.

The Alberta floods of 2013 were the second costliest, resulting in $1.8 billion in insured damage.

Watch Below: Dramatic footage of the Fort McMurray evacuation.

As for the region’s biggest economic driver, analysts say lost oilsands production from the Fort McMurray wildfires could top 30 million barrels and cost the industry upwards of $1.4 billion.

READ MORE: RCMP say Fort McMurray wildfire likely ‘result of human activity,’ investigate if blaze was criminal

Some of the largest oilsands producers in the province were forced to shut down or curtail operations due to the May wildfire. Damage to oilsands projects was minimal but analysts say restarting operations took longer than expected.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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