Smoke from California wildfires reaches New York
Smoke from the California wildfires has reached New York, some 3,000 miles away, with the Mendocino Complex fires now spanning an area larger than Los Angeles.
The Mendocino Complex fires have grown to become the largest fire in state history, spreading over an area of 469 square miles.
Luckily for East Coast residents, smoke that has made a 3,000-mile journey from California is currently wafting a mile above street level so can’t be seen or smelt.
Beginning on 27 July, the Mendocino Complex fires are currently burning in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties and have so far scorched over 300,000 acres of land and destroyed over 100 homes.
The Carr fire has killed seven people and destroyed at least 1,077 homes. Burning through almost 177,450 acres, it was 48% contained on Thursday.
So far California wineries have emerged unscathed from the fires with no reports of vineyards lost, though a number are testing their vines for smoke taint.
According to Decanter, a couple of Mendocino County wineries, including Fetzer Vineyards, have been issued evacuation orders, though Lake County vineyards bore the brunt of the smoke, with staff having to be sent home because of it.
Lake County-based grape grower Andy Beckstoffer told Decanter the probability of smoke taint was “slight” as the grapes are only in the initial stages of veraison.
Last Saturday US President Donald Trump declared the fires as a major disaster to bolster the emergency response and government assistance for the wildfires.
Trump blamed the fires on “bad environmental laws” that aren’t allowing readily available water to be properly utilised, because, according to Trump, the water “is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean”.