Lake County Wine Industry Status Update: Limited Impact of the Mendocino Complex Fire to the Wine Region

Kelseyville, California – August 16, 2018 – Since August 2, 2018, the active fire perimeter of the Mendocino Complex Fires shifted into remote forest wildlands around 15 to 30 miles north of Lake County vineyards. Additionally, as of Wednesday, August 8, 2018, thousands of residents were able to return to their homes as evacuation orders lifted for most Lake County towns. Lake County winegrape growers are glad to see people back in their homes and back to work, striving for normalcy on all accounts.

Smoke plumes from the Mendocino Complex Fires remain in remote northern wildland areas, far from major winegrowing regions. These smoke pockets are being carried east by prevailing winds, with morning haze blown out by midday breezes.

Damage to the wine industry remains very limited and extremely isolated, with around .05 percent of all planted acres of vines seeing burns. Vineyards provided firebreak due to the cultivation of the land and the moisture that is held in the vine canopy. Firefighters were able to utilize vineyard agricultural ponds and nearby lakes to supply water for their efforts.

“We at the Lake County Winegrape Commission worked closely with local officials to ensure real-time updates of the fire for the safety of our vineyard workers and properties,” said Debra Sommerfield, President of the Lake County Winegrape Commission. “Lake County grape growers are deeply grateful to all first responders for their tireless efforts to protect our residents and our communities, and we are thankful to be able to report that direct impact to our industry was minimal.”

Throughout much of the West Coast, wildfire has become part of the ecosystem due to rugged mountainous topography, winds, and thousands of acres weakened by drought. With details from the 2017 U.S. Geological Survey, Paul Steblein, USGS fire science coordinator, stated: “human caused ignitions, warmer temperatures, dry and wet spells, and accumulation of fuels are some of the factors contributing to longer wildfire season, increases in the number of large and long-duration fires, and more severe effects from the wildfires.”

To help with fire relief efforts, donations may be made to North Coast Opportunities at https://www.ncoinc.org/ or Rotary 5130 Fire Relief Fund at https://www.larca5130.org/

Calendar of Events

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Spanish and English Language USDA Housing Fair 1:00 pm
Spanish and English Language USDA Housing Fair @ Glebe Hall
Mar 16 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Lake County Economic Development Corporation (Lake EDC), in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is planning a Spanish and English Language Community Housing Fair on Saturday, March 16, 1:00-3:00 p.m.  The[...]
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Pan American Training Session: Sexual Harassment Prevention & Agricultural Management Training 9:00 am
Pan American Training Session: Sexual Harassment Prevention & Agricultural Management Training @ Big Valley Hall
Mar 20 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Pan American Training Session: Sexual Harassment Prevention & Agricultural Management Training @ Big Valley Hall
This two-session workshop, presented by Pan American Insurance Services, will be conducted in Spanish for Spanish-speaking foreman, supervisors, and managers.   Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Big Valley Hall, 1510 Big Valley Road,[...]
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LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Mar 26 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee, March 26, 2019
LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Board Meeting @ LCWC Office
Mar 26 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Board Meeting, March 26, 2019
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UC Davis Viticulture and Enology on the Road in Lake County 8:30 am
UC Davis Viticulture and Enology on the Road in Lake County @ Soper-Reese Community Theater
Mar 28 @ 8:30 am – 1:15 pm
UC Davis Viticulture and Enology on the Road in Lake County @ Soper-Reese Community Theater
  Since 2012, the Department of Viticulture and Enology has taken various researchers “on the road”. These educational seminars serve to not only communicate to the California wine industry the research being done here at[...]
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