18 wineries so far affected by California fires

Some 18 wineries have been at least partially damaged by record-breaking wildfires that have torn through California over the past month.

Wildfire raging across grass meadow in California

First responders have been working hard to contain the Glass fire, which started on 27 September and has affected dozens of Napa Valley’s famed wineries. The blaze, which erupted in Deer Park, east of St. Helena, consumed Chateau Boswell, tore down the winery and barrel room at Burgess Cellars, destroyed the three Michelin-starred restaurant at the Meadowood resort and burned some of the vineyard land at Napa’s Viader and Sterling estates. A fund has been set up to support people living in California’s wine country that have been affected by the fires.

Some 18 estates have been affected by the Napa fires, reports Bloomberg, with many winemakers doubtful they will be able to produce a vintage this year.

The Glass Fire was 41% contained as of Monday (5 October), and now, authorities have allowed more evacuated residents of the community of Kenwood to return home.

Viader said in a statement on social media that it was one of the luckier estates that is still on track to produce a 2020 vintage, but staff are still under evacuation orders.

“There is a lot that needs to be rebuilt before they open the roads in the area,” it said.

But the worst wildfire season is far from over.

A single fire, the August Complex which lies in the Coast Range between San Francisco and the Oregon border, surpassed another milestone on Monday (5 October) as it burnt through 1 million acres. Cal Fire reported the August Complex was 54% contained as of Monday.

California governor Gavin Newsom said the amount of land scorched by the August Complex is larger than all of the recorded fires in the state between 1932 and 1999.

“If that’s not proof point, testament, to climate change, then I don’t know what is,” he told media this week.

More than 8,300 fires have burned well over 4 million acres in California since the start of the year, according to the state’s wildfire monitoring division. To date, the total number of fatalities statewide is 31 and over 8,687 structures have been destroyed.

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