Massive Northern California Wildfires Continue to Devastate

The death toll rises to 11, 100 are injured and another 20,000 have fled in the northern California fires, including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and five other counties.
The fire damage at Paradise Ridge Winery

More than 24 hours after wildfires erupted in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and five other California counties, at least 11 people are dead, more than 100 are injured, another 20,000 have fled, and several wineries were completely destroyed, with many others suffering severe damage.

Both Paradise Ridge Winery in the foothills above Santa Rosa in Sonoma and Signorello Estate on the Silverado Trail in Napa were burnt to the ground. Photos show charred barrels on warped racks, large tanks blackened, blistered bottles all covered with ash—the remains of winery buildings. (See full list of damaged wineries below.)

Further north, Mendocino County Tourism Commission officials confirmed that fires destroyed Frey Vineyards in Redwood Valley, a longtime producer of organic and biodynamic wines.

E. & J. Gallo spokeswoman Megan Stockton confirmed that “[William Hill] winery buildings are intact. William Hill sustained only minor cosmetic and landscaping damage, in addition to minimal vineyard damage.”

How to Help Victims of the Fires in Northern California

Cal Fire reported three fires—two in Napa and one in Sonoma—were burned overnight.

The number of wineries and vineyards destroyed or damaged has yet to be confirmed, but winemakers are deeply concerned.

In Calistoga, Trione Vineyards & Winery‘s Reed Ackerman told Wine Enthusiast, “It seems, at the moment the fires have subsided. I’m even seeing a couple stars in the sky as some of the smoke dissipates… I’m on night watch at the moment making sure we don’t get any nasty surprises.”

Trione threw open its doors and offered shelter to those who needed it. The folks who arrived did so mostly with just the clothes on their backs and perhaps a pet or three.

“We had about eight people show up here at the winery. Our location was farther away than many of the other locations offering shelter… As for animals, every single person had a cat or a dog. One woman had three cats.”

Ackerman said he felt lucky because his house was still intact and his family was evacuated. “But communication with them has been extremely difficult,” he said.

According to officials, seven deaths were reported in the city of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, two in Napa County, one in Mendocino County and one in Yuba County.

Wineries and Estates with Confirmed Damages

Additional updates to come from our reporters on the ground as the story unfolds.

Additional reporting by Lauren Mowery

Updated at 3:20 p.m.

Follow the story on social media: #napafire #napafires and #sonomafire #sonomafires

Published on October 10, 2017
Topics: Latest News
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.




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