Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fire Report: Mendocino, Anderson Valley, Lake County

We woke up once again to a thick, orange haze and the smell of smoke in the air. It is our 2nd day of air quality warnings. And we're not even in the fire zone--we're in the evacuation zone.

For those of you who haven't heard, lightning strikes over the weekend set off more than 100 fires in the region, and they spread due to intensely dry conditions and stiff winds. More than 19000 acres have been burned in Mendocino County, and another 9000 have been burned in Lake County. And there are more fires (842 at last count) throughout northern California, as this map shows:

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Here in my part of the world, the northern Sonoma coast where it touches Mendocino County, volunteer fire crews and California Department of Forestry firefighters have been working to battle the blazes in nearby residential, agricultural, and viticultural areas.

If you are a wine lover and have ever had a wine by Handley, Esterlina, Claudia Springs, Husch, Roederer, Pacific Echo, Londer, Navarro, Standish, or Greenwood Ridge--please think good thoughts for these families and businesses since they are within 3 miles of the 1400 acre/5% contained Navarro fire.

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Wherever you are, consider supporting your local firefighters and their efforts today. It only takes a strike of lightning to make you realize how much depends on them and their professionalism in a time of crisis.

Those of you interested in following the story can keep track of recent developments via the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, which is providing excellent coverage.


Linda Blakely said...

That's horrible!!! My husband and I met Alan Green of Greenwood Ridge a few times (once when we went to California to tour his vineyard and winery and once when he came here to Jax to do a wine dinner), and we stayed at Handley Estates two years ago on a business trip when we had our store.

Thanks for letting everyone know...

Anonymous said...

I had plans to visit a few of the wineries you mentioned that were within miles of the wildfires.....does anyone know whether I should cancel those plans?

Dr. Debs said...

You're welcome, Linda. The fire doubled in size, and to my knowledge is still not contained, but it seems to be mostly affecting timber and brush. I've had some reports of burnt understory brush, but trees remaining intact. All that redwood bark holds water like a sponge, and they can be quite fire resistant if they are healthy. Anonymous, your best bet would be to call the vineyards and see if their tasting rooms are still open. I haven't wanted to bother anyone in the fire zone, but if I hear there is containment, I will call around and post an update in the main area of the blogs with details.