Mendocino Complex Fire Status Report: Impact to Lake County Wine Industry, August 2, 2018
Kelseyville, Calif. August 2, 2018 – According to CALFIRE, as of Thursday morning, containment for the Mendocino Complex Fire reached 39 percent. The complex includes two wildland fires, which both began the afternoon of July 27, 2018, in Mendocino County and moved into Lake County.
The Ranch Fire has burned 74,890 acres, more than half within the Mendocino National Forest, with containment at 33 percent; the River Fire has burned 35,278 acres with 50 percent containment. In total, 14 residences have been destroyed and eight residences damaged. Full containment is expected by August 8, 2018.
Areas including Lakeport and Upper Lake and surrounding areas remain under mandatory evacuation. Mandatory orders have been lifted in other areas including Kelseyville and Finley, allowing those residents to return home.
The fires are located mostly in rugged, rural terrain several miles from Lake County’s major winegrowing areas. While full damage assessment is forthcoming, preliminary reports of vineyard damage appear to be minimal, limited to a few smaller parcels; no damage has been reported at any local wineries. In fact, many local wineries outside of the evacuation areas are open normal hours.
Lake County winegrape growers are committed to the highest quality fruit. At this time, only a few growing areas are just beginning to experience veraison. Growers in the impacted area are proactively monitoring the status of their vines and will be testing their fruit over the coming days.
Lake County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other law enforcement agencies have been very responsive and have worked to accommodate the needs of the agriculture industry in terms of access for irrigation and other viticultural practices.
Together, Lake County grape growers and winery owners would like to express their gratitude to all of the firefighters, law enforcement, and other first responders for their tireless efforts to protect our residents and communities.
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