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Wildfires threaten vineyards

With as many as 1,000 wildfires burning in California, the most pressing issues are which vineyards might burn and if the smoke hanging over the state will interfere with photosynthesis.

“We haven’t heard of any impact on vineyards yet, but it’s getting close in Suisun Valley and northeastern Napa County,” says Karen Ross, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) in Sacramento, Calif.

In Napa County, the biggest fire concern was in the remote area of Wild Horse Valley located on the Solano County border east of Napa. Most of the smoke in Napa came from a major fire up in Lake County and from hundreds of small lightning strike fires in Mendocino County.

For Mendocino County, fires burning are only making the situation more difficult for an area already hard hit by frost damage and water shortages. The areas most affected have been Navarro and south of Ukiah. Ironically, the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission just launched a new campaign with the slogan “America’s Greenest Wine Region.”

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