With the Northern California wildfires now 100% contained as of Tuesday, the investigation into how it began and how much damage it's caused has begun in earnest. According to a report from the AP, insurance claims for damages caused by the fires now total over $3.3 billion, a threefold increase from the original estimate of $1 billion. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued a statement on the claims, saying that they expect that total to rise in the coming weeks. He wrote: "As shocking as $3 billion in insured losses are, the number is sure to grow, as more claims are coming. The insured losses only tell part of the tragic story of the October fires. We must remember that 43 people lost their lives and behind every insurance claim is someone who has lost their home, their business, and their precious memories. It will take years for these communities to recover and rebuild."
NBC Bay Area broke down the damage wrought by the six fires, reporting that over 8,000 structures were destroyed over the course of the past few weeks. 70% of those structures (or 6,190) were residential buildings and homes, with the rest being outbuildings such as detached garages and the like. The Tubbs fire alone destroyed over 4,600 residences, and ended up consuming over 36,800 acres of land.
Cal Fire is also continuing its investigation into who or what is to blame for the fire, with their sights currently set on some downed PG&E power lines. The power company is also conducting its own internal investigation, and has already submitted numerous reports to the California Public Utilities Commission about the damages they've discovered as a part of that search. According to the Chron's breakdown of the reports, PG&E said they found that over 1,500 power poles were damaged or destroyed one week after the fires began. In at least two reports, they say that falling trees also took down a few power lines in Kenwood and near Grass Valley in Nevada County.
Elsewhere, the pets who were left with and rescued by workers at pet shelters are still awaiting the return of their families. CBS reports that a few volunteers have set up a Facebook page to share pictures and listings of rescued animals. Monica Argenti, the Community Engagement Manager for Sonoma County Animal Services, said, "We still have quite a few animals that we are trying to get back to their families." You might also notice that many of the animals listed on the rescue page are cats. CBS spoke with a veterinarian, Dr. Kate McKencie, who told them that dogs tend to run towards their owners/families in times of crisis, whereas cats tend to run away.
If you're still searching for your pet, definitely check the Sonoma & Napa Fires Missing and Found Pets Facebook group to see if your loved one is listed there. They also warn families to look very carefully, as these rescues could look a little different, given that they just survived a massive wildfire.