California wine grape growers need support to manage risks from wildfire and smoke
California Agriculture 77(2):40-48. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2023a0006
Published online July 17, 2023
California has experienced an increase in the size and severity of wildfires in recent years, with wide-ranging impacts to agriculture. The 2020 wildfire season was particularly catastrophic, causing billions of dollars in damage to the state's world-renowned wine industry. Wine grape growers and wine producers statewide were recently surveyed to better understand the wildfire informational resources available to producers, as well as the role wildfire risk plays in operational management decisions. The survey results show that the negative impacts of wildfires on wine production may be the result of wildfire smoke more than of the actual wildfires. We also show that managers do not always make operational changes, even when they perceive increased wildfire risk. Despite diverse sources of wildfire-related information and operational guidance, there is not enough information to effectively manage fire risk.