SANTA ROSA (AP) – California’s insurance commissioner says preliminary estimates of losses from the state’s recent siege of wildfires exceed $1 billion and that the figure is expected to rise.

Commissioner Dave Jones told reporters in Los Angeles Thursday that the estimate comes from the eight largest insurers in the affected areas.

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Authorities say nearly 7,000 homes and structures were destroyed in Northern California’s deadly wildfires.

That number also is expected to increase. A few dozen homes and other structures also recently burned in a Southern California fire.

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