California wineries assess wildfires’ long-term effects


TOPSHOT - Homeowner Martha Marquez looks ...

By Eric Risberg, The Associated Press

NAPA, Calif. — A month after deadly wildfires swept through California’s famed wine country, hot-air balloons are floating again over Napa Valley vineyards splashed with fall colors. On the heels of the disaster, a new winery is opening, keeping the name it chose some time ago: Ashes and Diamonds.

The fires had only a minimal effect on the area’s wineries, according to the Wine Institute, an advocacy and policy group. Of the 1,200 wineries in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino, about 10 were destroyed or heavily damaged, and 90 percent of this year’s harvest already was complete, the institute said.

Most vineyards were spared due to their high moisture content, and some even helped save surrounding structures by acting as fire breaks.

But many operators are now grappling with other long-term effects from the fires that killed 43 people and wiped out 8,900 buildings: making up for losses from being closed at the busiest time of year, assessing the impact of smoke and other environmental damage on this year’s vintage, and persuading tourists to return after weeks of news coverage of the fires’ devastation.

Josh Edelson, AFP/Getty Images

Homeowner Martha Marquez looks over her burned home in Santa Rosa, California on Oct. 10, 2017.
Firefighters encouraged by weakening winds were battling 17 large wildfires on Tuesday in California which have left at least 13 people dead, thousands homeless and ravaged the state’s famed wine country.

Elijah Nouvelage, AFP/Getty Images

Fire damage is seen from the air in the Coffey Park neighborhood on Oct. 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California
More than 200 fire engines and firefighting crews from around the country were being rushed to California on Wednesday to help battle infernos which have left at least 21 people dead and thousands homeless.

Robyn Beck, AFP/Getty Images

Ben Pederson find’s a school yearbook in the remains of his bedroom after his family’s home was destroyed by wildfire in Santa Rosa, California, Oct. 11, 2017.
The death toll from some of California’s worst ever wildfires rose to 17 as thousands of firefighters battled to bring the infernos under control. The fires which have devastated California’s wine country are already among the deadliest ever in the western US state and officials warned they expect the toll to go up.

Elijah Nouvelage, AFP/Getty Images

Fire damage is seen from the air in the Coffey Park neighborhood Oct. 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California
More than 200 fire engines and firefighting crews from around the country were being rushed to California on Wednesday to help battle infernos which have left at least 21 people dead and thousands homeless.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

An aerial view of homes that were destroyed by the Tubbs Fire on Oct. 11, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. Twenty one people have died in wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed over 3,000 homes and businesses in several Northen California counties.

Colby Clark of San Francisco, left, comforts her mother, Bonnie Trexler, after being escorted by law enforcement to her home in Silverado Highland to retrieve medicine and some …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – News

      

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