At least 5,700 homes and businesses have been destroyed by the wildfires that erupted a week ago and consumed an area larger than that of New York City. Entire neighborhoods in the city of Santa Rosa were reduced to ashes.
The wildfires are California’s deadliest on record, surpassing the 29 deaths from the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles.
Most of the 1,863 people so far listed in missing-persons reports have turned up safe, including many evacuees who failed to alert authorities after fleeing their homes.
Hopes for victims known to have been in the direct path of the flames will dwindle as each day passes, Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said on Monday.
About 30 vintners sustained some level of fire damage to wine-making facilities, vineyards, tasting rooms or other assets, the Napa Valley Vintners association said. But only about a half dozen reported significant losses, spokeswoman Patsy McGaughy said.
Vineyards, which mainly occupy the valley floor, appear to have been largely unscathed as the fires in Napa County burned mainly in the hillsides, McGaughy said. About 90 percent of Napa’s grape harvest had been picked and escaped potential exposure to smoke that could have tainted the fruit.
Still, the toll taken on the region as a whole has thrown the wine industry into disarray, and McGaughy said the 2017 Napa vintage will likely be smaller than it otherwise would have been.
“This is a human tragedy, there are people who have lost their lives, lost their homes, lost their business,” McGaughy said, adding Napa’s celebrated viniculture would recover.