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Wine Spectator: California Wildfires Threaten Wine Country

August 21, 2020

Wildfires have joined the pandemic and the economy on the list of 2020 challenges for California winemakers. An unseasonal and unprecedented series of thunderstorms blew through Northern California late Sunday night and early Monday morning, bringing lightning strikes that ignited dozens of blazes. A significant heat wave coupled with persistent winds stoked the fires, five of which are within Napa County.

Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, has named this cluster and two fires in Sonoma County the Lake-Napa Unit (LNU) Lightning Complex. Officials reported at noon Aug. 20 that the blazes had grown to burn a combined 131,000 acres, with no containment so far. There have been two confirmed casualties related to the fires so far—a utility worker working with firefighters to combat the LNU fires and a pilot whose helicopter crashed during a water drop on flames near Fresno. Wine Spectator is monitoring the situation.—Aaron Romano

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