Fires Strike California Wine Country


Late Sunday October 1, multiple fires began in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Lake. Whipped by high winds, the fires threatened and destroyed homes, lives, and wineries.

These fires continue tonight with over 1000 firefighters working to keep people and animals safe in the towns of Sonoma and Napa. In fact a reliable source reports that as of Thursday, there are 73 helicopters, over 30 air tankers, some 500 fire vehicles, over 8000 fire personnel, with another 150 fire vehicles requested from neighboring states plus CHP, National Guard, police, utility workers and more in the region at work.

Thousands more firefighters are working around the clock across a state which has plenty of fuel following last year’s generous rains.

The flammable grasses and shrubs combined with hot dry winds will make for a dangerous situation until winter storms hit –which may be in a month or two.

During the past week, I have followed the stories and photos as friends in the region have told harrowing tales of evacuation, near escape, fire, damage, and repeated evacuations as they make sure children and pets are safe as well as keep tabs on elderly and infirm neighbors. The losses are devastating: many lives and pets as well as cherished possessions.

fire on a hillside above harvest Oct. 2017; photo  by George Rose author of “VINEYARD Sonoma County”

However, contrary to some reports, the 2017 vintage will be fine: Continue reading