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The North Bay’s Farms Are Burning

Animals, produce, flowers, marijuana, and more are affected

At Least 11 Dead As Multiple Wildfires Burn Through California Wine Country
The remains of historic buildings at Stornetta Dairy, destroyed by the Atlas fire
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As the devastating fires continue to rage through Napa and Sonoma, there have been losses of all kinds, including homes, cars, livelihoods, and lives. Wineries, including Signorello, have burned to the ground. But farms in the famous agricultural area are also in the path of the fire, with many suffering damage and complete devastation.

Bee-Well Farms in Sonoma, located just North of Glen Ellen, has burned to the ground along with owners Missy and Austin Lely’s home and farm stand. According to a GoFundme posted by Missy’s brother, she and her husband made it out only a laptop and the clothes on their backs.

On October 9th, she was woken by a neighbor alerting that the fire spread onto thier property. The whole house went up in flames. All her clothes, cars, and everything else for her and her husbands farmers market business was destroyed. She left with only her laptop, clothes she was wearing. She also ran her own business out of her home and property which was her only personal source of income. Her business was based on her livestock and garden. All of which is now gone except a cow and few chickens. She has to start from the bottom up and rebuild her home, business and keep up with her day to day needs like food, clothing and car Anything will help.

Nearby Flatbed Farm was luckier, but lost its barn to the fire.

To all those working tirelessly to help keep everyone safe, thank you! To all those affected by the ongoing fires in the...

Posted by Flatbed Farm on Monday, October 9, 2017

Meanwhile, the 535-acre Bouverie Preserve narrowly escaped destruction. The nonprofit environmental preserve is also the location of Last House, the historic home of M.F.K. Fisher, the seminal food writer who lived in Glen Ellen for the last two decades of her life.

David Bouverie's house, Bouverie Preserve, Glen Ellen. Saved by bucket brigade and heroic action, Oct 9, 2017.

Posted by Audubon Canyon Ranch on Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Weirauch Farm & Creamery, located in Santa Rosa, is in the path of the fire, but managed to move its sheep to a ranch closer to the Sonoma Coast, out of the smoke zone.

Lord please keep my animals safe

Posted by Carleen Weirauch on Monday, October 9, 2017

Long Meadow Ranch, the winery and farm that supplies the restaurant Farmstead in St. Helena, has evacuated all animals and all employees of the winery from its location on top of Whitehall Lane.

Beltane Ranch in Sonoma lost some oaks, part of their olive harvest, and open grasslands, but its historic barn, employees, and animals are all safe for now.

Along Hwy 12, several of Stornetta Dairy’s historic buildings were completely destroyed.

At Least 11 Dead As Multiple Wildfires Burn Through California Wine Country Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Let’s Go Farm, an organic located on Wallace Road in Santa Rosa, fears that the farm is a loss, including end-of-season crops that were still in the fields when the farm tore through.

Another farm in Glen Ellen, Oak Hill Farm, was forced to evacuate, abandoning thousands of pounds of winter squash and onions that had already been harvested, flowers in the fields, and fruit hanging on trees. Farm manager David Cooper told the SF Chronicle that half of the fields and farm, a residence, and one barn were lost.

For those in need of space for large animals, Sonoma Hills Farm in West Sonoma has room for animals on 40 acres.

Cannabis is another huge crop in Sonoma and Mendocino, where growers were in the middle of harvest as the fires raged through. More than 3,000 growers in Sonoma have been affected by the fires, with millions of dollars of marijuana going up in flames — California is the producer of over half of America’s marijuana intake and 30 percent of legal sales.

The growers are facing an economic disaster as a result; cannabis farms are usually unable to purchase fire or crop insurance in the same way that wineries can. Like grapes, marijuana crops are vulnerable to smoke taint, and even if not destroyed can be potentially rendered ruined.

SF dispensary SPARC, whose farm is located in Glen Ellen, also sustained substantial damage from the Nuns fire, according to the SF Chronicle. Sonoma County Cannabis Company has also damages according to its Instagram.