Massive Wildfires Threaten California’s Wine Industry

Photo: George Rose/ Getty Images.
California's wildfires continue to rage on and leave horrific damage in their wake. For the last six weeks, three large fires have burned over 280,000 acres, causing untold damage to property and five people to lose their lives. But an important California industry is also at risk. As CBS reports, the fires are affecting Napa and Sonoma counties at the peak of harvest season. According to the Wine Institute, California's wine industry produces about 90% of wine in the U.S. Michael and Adawn Woods, for instance, lost not only their home, but also their livelihood: The couple's winery, Shed Horn Cellars, was destroyed in the flames. Winemakers have already been plagued by California's historic drought, so the fires are all the more debilitating. Jacque Lynn Johnson, district director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's California Farm Service Agency, told CBS: "We don't know how many acres have been burned, nor do we know if there has been smoke penetration to the remaining fruit, affecting its quality." As R29 previously reported, this wildfire season is particularly frightening and far-reaching. Fires have even ravaged unexpected places, like perpetually rainy Washington state, where fire preparedness is lacking. The drought and climate change are also contributing factors. For all involved, we can only hope the tides finally turn and California sees some relief from the grisly flames.

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