Losses from the devastating wild fire blazing in western Canada are nearing $1 billion, and will likely set records for the country, insurance industry experts said.
Record-breaking heat, high winds, and dry soil combined to fuel an inferno that forced the evacuation of the Alberta city of Fort McMurray and its population of more than 80,000. The CBC reported Thursday that evacuations were spreading as the fire moved south.
More than 1,600 structures have been destroyed by the fire, mostly homes and office buildings, disaster forecasting experts at Aon Benfield said in a report late Wednesday.
"Fires have been growing," Thom Porter told CNBC's "Power Lunch" Thursday. He heads the California Department of Fire in the state's southern region.
"We're seeing the effects of a changing climate. We're seeing fire seasons growing in length, starting earlier and ending later. These are conditions that our generation and probably several generations prior to us have never seen."