More than a dozen wild­fires con­tin­ued to dev­as­tate swaths of Napa and Sonoma coun­ties in Northern California today, scorch­ing over 100,000 acres of homes, busi­nesses, vine­yards and olive groves.

I just heard that one of our smaller pro­duc­ers lost her home in Santa Rosa. This is dev­as­tat­ing to all of the com­mu­ni­ties affected. We are hope­ful that every­one is safe.- Patricia Darragh, COOC

At least 11 peo­ple have died and 20,000 are home­less, accord­ing to the lat­est esti­mate from the State of California, within the two stun­ningly beau­ti­ful val­leys famous for their wines and increas­ingly known for olive oil too.

Olive Oil Times has checked in with a num­ber of pro­duc­ers in the region, who reported “apoc­a­lyp­tic” scenes, olive trees coated with ash and soot, and com­mu­ni­ties in shock.

Firefighters con­tained some of the fires today as winds that had fanned the flames sub­sided overnight, but many had yet to be tamed.

Many have yet to return to their homes after forced evac­u­a­tions and don’t know if their houses and belong­ings were spared or destroyed.

Patricia Darragh, the direc­tor of the California Olive Oil Council said it was too soon to tell how most in the close-knit com­mu­nity of grow­ers have fared.

“Since the fires are still rag­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tions are spotty. We have been send­ing emails and texts to our mem­bers and, as of this morn­ing, all are safe but many have been evac­u­ated from their homes,” Darragh said today.

“I just heard that one of our smaller pro­duc­ers lost her home in Santa Rosa. This is dev­as­tat­ing to all of the com­mu­ni­ties affected. We are hope­ful that every­one is safe.”

An assess­ment of prop­erty and agri­cul­tural dam­age will be forth­com­ing as com­mu­ni­ca­tions improve, she added.

Sonoma County-based con­sul­tant Alexandra Kicenik Devarenne also said those in her net­work she has been able to reach were safe, but sev­eral col­leagues lost their homes. “Today I think we will get a bet­ter han­dle on the extent of the dam­age,” she added, “but it’s ongo­ing.”

According to CNN, nearly 35,000 are with­out power through­out the state and more than 1,500 homes and busi­nesses were destroyed.

No rain is in the fore­cast for the region over the next seven days.

This is break­ing news. Check back for updates.


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