California Wildfires Leaving Citizens Devastated

Avery Hoisington, Reporter

Throughout California, wildfires have destroyed homes, businesses, and over 4 million acres of land. The damages are estimated to cost at least $10 billion, according to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy.

Family-owned businesses, such as wineries, have been around since the post-prohibition era. The wineries have become a well-known tourist attraction, and have thrived in California’s Napa Valley. However, the fires have left these businesses with nothing but ash as well as charred and broken bottles. Among those affected, Regina Bustamante, owner of Sosie Wines in Sonoma County, decided not to harvest for the season.

 “We feel for all winery workers who will now have less wine to make… but we especially feel for the people who work picking grapes and will have their livelihood impacted by this environmental tragedy,” Bustamante said. 

Jonathan Vigliotti of CBS News reports that more than 60 structures have been affected by the fire, including several homes.  Many residents have lost their homes, including resident Sean Maher.

“There were fires on both sides of my property,” Maher said. 

Long time residents, Maher’s brother and father, also lost their homes due to the fires. According to CBS, the family has evacuated three times in the last 18 months. 

“We’re all okay. We’re resilient. We’re full of love and blessed with so much, but it just keeps hitting us,” Maher said.