Christian Palmaz used hoes, shovels and rakes to keep flames from his family’s 19th century vineyard estate home on the flanks of Mt. St. George in eastern Napa County.
But he didn’t have to worry about his vines. They’re green, very much alive, and a stark contrast to more than 500 acres of oak, manzanita and grassland charred by the Atlas Peak fire as it tore across Palmaz’s property.
As the Napa and Sonoma valleys struggle through days of a raging firestorm that has already claimed at least 23 lives, many vineyards in the nearly 100,000-acre burn areas appear to be emerging largely unscathed, while tens of thousands of acres of oak wildlands as well as entire residential neighborhoods have been scorched.
For all the frightening images of flames consuming winery buildings and firefighters lighting backfires at the region’s postcard-perfect vineyards, the wine country blazes so far appear to be mainly an urban catastrophe.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.