The Marionette

Wildfires destroy homes, crops in California

Mitchell Stroud, Reporter

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Northern California is currently being ravaged by over 20 wildfires.  41 people have been killed and 100+ are missing in Sonoma county. Sonoma, and close-by, Napa county have over 131,200 acres of burned land. winds upwards of 79 miles per hour have fanned the flames across the dry fields. According to California Nevada River Forecast Center, Napa county’s last rainfall was 0.83 inches in June of 2017. The winds as well as the lack of rainfall created the perfect kindling for the conflagration to spiral out of control. The two largest fires, the Tubbs fire and the Atlas Peak fire,  have destroyed over 570 buildings and burned 87,496 acres. Both fires are now over 80% contained according to

Napa county, known for its vast agricultural fields, has received the brunt of the wildfire damage. White Rock Vineyards, one of the oldest vineyard of Napa county, was completely destroyed by the flames. One of the lesser known industries that was more affected than the vineyards was the cannabis industry. The vineyards and the wineries have federal crop insurance but because cannabis is still considered illegal by the federal government, the farmers are unable to apply and receive insurance for their burned crop.

“…so when their [cannabis farmers] whole house and farm burns down they get zero help. They lose their livelihood and home and get no help in return,” said Anders Peterson, cannabis consultant in the bay area.

In total, the wildfires have destroyed over 2000 homes in Northern California. Some of these residents had no time to prepare and had only the clothes on their back to evacuate with. Cheryl de Werff, Napa resident, had only the clothes on her back and her car when the sheriff pounded on her door screaming to evacuate. She voiced her concerns in an interview with the LA Times. She was worried about her personal documents that were at her home as well as the housing situation until she can begin to rebuild.

If you want to help out, click here to visit the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s webpage for relief.



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Wildfires destroy homes, crops in California