Explosive Lake County Fire Threatens Howell Mountain

A few short days ago the Valley fire erupted into a full blown monster seemingly overnight, covering 65,000+ acres across southern Lake County. It has quickly become Lake County’s most destructive fire this year, and as of today is at just 15% containment. As it creeps toward the border of Napa and Sonoma county, residents in Calistoga are on edge, and many families in Angwin have already been evacuated. That includes most of the families who live on Howell Mountain.

Meanwhile, in more severely impacted areas like Red Hills, where Andy Beckstoffer has 1,500 acres of grapes planted, the situation has already escalated. While his vineyards are out of harm’s way, the roads they use to access them are blocked and harvest is temporarily on hold. Dave Guffy, who directs winemaking at Hess Collection is also keeping a close eye on the fire, as much of their production depends on grapes from their vineyards in Lake County.

A firefighter lights a back burn along Highway 29 north of Middletown, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. Two of California’s fastest-burning wildfires in decades overtook at several Northern California towns, destroying over a hundred homes and sending residents fleeing Sunday. (Randy Pench/The Sacramento Bee via AP) MAGS OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT (KCRA3, KXTV10, KOVR13, KUVS19, KMAZ31, KTXL40); MANDATORY CREDIT
A firefighter lights a back burn along Highway 29 north of Middletown, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. Two of California’s fastest-burning wildfires in decades overtook at several Northern California towns, destroying over a hundred homes and sending residents fleeing Sunday. (Randy Pench/The Sacramento Bee via AP)

There are currently 5,000 buildings without power, and 9,000 structures are in danger. Over 500 homes have been destroyed, with the town of Middleton taking a huge amount of damage. So far more than 20,000 people have already been evacuated, most of them taking refuge in Calistoga or at the Napa Fairgrounds.

Mike Meisner

Mike Meisner

Mike is the resident content creator for the Last Bottle blog. When he's not spilling wine on his keyboard he can be found wandering the aisles in the warehouse with a Coravin in hand, whispering to bottles "This will only hurt for a second".
Mike Meisner

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