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Thu Sep 20, 2018, 10:28 PM

Private firefighters and five-star hotels: how the rich sit out wildfires

Record-breaking US wildfires are fueling a cottage industry of boutique services – and many are happy to pay the price

With record-breaking wildfires carving up the American west this summer, firefighters have become the rarest of civil servants: the kind almost universally lauded as heroes. Reinforcements dropped into California’s firefight from as far away as Australia and American Samoa to bolster strained state and federal crews, reaching a high point of 14,000 firefighters on the ground.

Yet other crews have pulled into the fires’ path with a less grandiose purpose: to save only select addresses. These are the private firefighters of the rich or otherwise well-insured: private crews hired by insurance companies to minimize damages and keep policyholders’ homes from going up in smoke.

“This year to date has been busier than any prior years to date,” David Torgerson, the president of the firefighting company Wildfire Defense Systems in Bozeman, Montana, told the Guardian in an email, “and we are expecting to respond to [more] wildfires this year than any prior year.”

This year’s wildfire season has produced the largest burn in California’s history and, in the northern part of the state, an awe-inspiring “firenado”. As scientists say that “megafires” are the new normal, climate change capitalism is finding an increasing number of customers. This echoes a global trend: cottage industries have sprung up to serve those who can afford to be a bit more protected and comfortable while the weather grows more cataclysmic. The uber-wealthy have bought estates in New Zealand (to the point that the country is in the midst of passing legislation to stymie foreign buyers) and luxe underground bunkers in Kansas and elsewhere to escape civic or natural collapse.

In western states, the wildfire-evacuated masses have huddled in Best Westerns or on gymnasium floors and are often locked in insurance-claim limbo, while the affluent check into five-star luxury hotels – usually reimbursable by their insurance – confident that their homes are being looked after.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/20/private-firefighters-wildfire-insurance-climate-change-capitalism

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Reply Private firefighters and five-star hotels: how the rich sit out wildfires (Original post)
turbinetree Sep 2018 OP
dalton99a Sep 2018 #1
lunasun Sep 2018 #2
turbinetree Sep 2018 #6
PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 2018 #3
SWBTATTReg Sep 2018 #4
SammyWinstonJack Sep 2018 #5

Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 10:33 PM

1. Makes ya wonder if they had insurance plans against guillotines in France

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 11:06 PM

2. Good read thanks

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Response to lunasun (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 21, 2018, 09:03 AM

6. Your welcome.......................wonder if my Travelers has any of the clauses

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Thu Sep 20, 2018, 11:40 PM

3. Interesting.

I wonder just how much these boutique insurance plans cost? Probably a whole lot more than the average house is worth, even in pricey California.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2018, 02:48 AM

4. Through out history, the rich have sat out all kinds of disasters and the like, by simply ...

leaving for elsewhere. Sometimes it doesn't work. Think Titanic.

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Response to turbinetree (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2018, 07:34 AM

5. And yet another reason to despise the rich, as if it's needed.

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