October 25th, 2019 – As we are in day two of the Kincade fire, here is the latest on what we know about the grape growers, vineyards and 2019 harvest in Sonoma County.
Although the fires have an all too familiar feel, there are a few major differences between the Kincade fire and the fires of 2017. The Kincade fire is currently limited to the northern part of the vast one million acres that comprises the Sonoma County wine country. The fire is in a rural, rugged, hilly part of the county, not the urban areas that were impacted by the fires in 2017. Fortunately, given its rural location, there simply are not as many structures and homes in the fire’s path as there were two years ago. Regardless, the devastation is very real especially for those who lost their homes.
If there is any silver lining, it is the sheer grit, tenacity, spirit and collaboration demonstrated once again by our local farmers who have been lending tractors, bulldozers and water trucks to help each other and on the front lines. They are battling the fire as well as helping cut fire lines as a defense in preparation for the weekend’s heavy winds. In addition, our vineyards continue to act as silent defenders providing a firebreak that is saving homes and structures. Know that the rest of the county is still safe. As the end of October nears, we are almost 92% of the way through the 2019 harvest, creating minimal impact on the overall vintage. Where it is safe, our farmers are able to harvest the remaining crops through working with the Ag Commissioner and Sheriff’s office.
Many people are asking how they can help support our community. Please donate to the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation to directly help our ag workers and their families who have been impacted by the Kincade Fire.
The Foundation is again collecting donations to assist with its housing recovery fund for ag workers and their families who were displaced from their homes by the fire. Since the 2017 fires, the Foundation has distributed more than $1 million distributing to assist individuals and families recover from these fires. In addition, you can help our community by purchasing Sonoma County wines whenever you have the opportunity.
For more information about the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, visit: www.scggf.org
Sonoma County is truly a special place. We are so thankful for our community, our farmers and our first responders who are all working together to keep our county safe.