The Thomas Fire in California has been burning for a month, destroying some 282,000 acres, or 440 square miles in two counties. About 92% of it was contained as of yesterday. In addition to some 8,300 firefighters battling the flames, a fixture of Thomas and other big fires that have engulfed the state over the last couple of months are private firefighters — trained professionals who are protecting super-expensive houses.
Quick take: These firefighting contractors are hired by insurance companies that are on the hook for homes sometimes worth $2 million and more, writes the Santa Barbara Independent's Kelsey Brugger. In certain fire-prone zip codes, some insurance companies require policyholders to buy policies covering the cost of such firefighters, reports the WSJ's Leslie Scism.