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FORESTHILL, California – California temporarily banned insurance companies from bringing customers to areas hit by the recent wildfires on Thursday, the day after the evacuation orders were lifted near the 2-week fire that became the largest in the state this year.

A few days of occasional rains helped firefighters achieve a 60% containment on Mosquito Fire in the Sierra foothills, approximately 110 miles northeast of San Francisco. At least 78 houses and other structures have been damaged since September 6, when flames erupted and charred forests in Placer and El Dorado counties.

Sheriff’s officials in both districts announced Wednesday that they were lifting the latest evacuation order, which kept some 11,000 people away from their homes during the peak of the fire.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara cited a bill on Thursday aimed at protecting homeowners in a condition plagued by fires who say they are being pushed out of the commercial insurance market.

Lara has ordered insurance companies to keep home insurance for a year for Californians who live near one of several major fires that have burned down statewide in recent weeks.

The Department of Insurance estimates the moratorium will affect policies covering approximately 236,000 people in parts of Placer, El Dorado and Riverside.

“Wildfires are devastating even if you haven’t lost your home, so it’s absolutely essential that people can breathe after the disaster. This is not the time to look for insurance, “Lara said in a statement.

The law was implemented in 2019, when more than 15 major fires burned homes across the state.

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