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Fires and Blackouts Pose an $11.5 Billion Economic Hit to California

Firefighters search the perimeter of a building at the Soda Rock Vineyards during the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, California on Oct. 27.

Firefighters search the perimeter of a building at the Soda Rock Vineyards during the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, California on Oct. 27.

Photographer: Phil Pacheco/Bloomberg

California’s wildfires and blackouts may push the state economy to underperform the U.S. for the first time since 2010.

The state’s economic growth rate this year may range from 2% to 2.2%, below the expected 2.3% growth rate for U.S. gross domestic product, according to the latest estimates from Bank of the West’s chief economist Scott Anderson. That’s due to the combined impact of this year’s fires and blackouts, at up to $11.5 billion.