August is typically too early for fires to visit us in California wine country. Generally, these fires occur in October when the growing season is finished. So, the current situation with the Northern California Complex Fires it is very challenging for California vineyards, winemakers, and employees affected by the fires raging through wine country. The Complex Fires include:
AUGUST Complex: Mendocino County, Lake County
CZU Complex: Santa Cruz mountains and Santa Cruz and San Mateo County coastal areas
LNU Complex Healdsburg and Russian River areas; Lake, Yolo and Solano counties; and Napa and Sonoma wine country
SCU Complex: Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties
Thankfully, since the fires began a little over a week ago, Anderson Valley has not had any fires and, compared to neighboring regions, has had very minimal smoke within the valley at this point. Anderson Valley benefits from the afternoon Pacific Ocean breeze. On days smoke has entered the valley, this has helped to clear the smoke, as seen in this photo of the Charles Vineyard in Boonville.
A Statewide Crisis – The Complex Fires Series
As the 2020 harvest season begins around the state, we are reminded how Mother Nature plays to the beat of her own drum and can be completely unpredictable. Late on the evening of August 16th, 2020, many Californians found themselves mesmerized by the symphony of sounds and the electrifying currents and colors of the evening sky.
The trouble with lightning fires is that there can be fires smoldering beneath the ground undetected before coming to the surface. Needless to say, we are far from being out of the woods from the current firestorm – even when the current fires are contained.