The fires taking place in the heart of wine country in California is spotlighting how they react to wildfires.
Rhonda Smith, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture farm adviser said fires don’t burn with the same intensity in vineyards because the fuel load inside a vineyard is much less.
“Some people refer to vineyards as fire breaks. I think that’s kind of a pleasant thought. They will not stop a fire but they will indeed slow it down.”
There are instances where a fire would burn vegetation around the vines, but not the vines themselves.
Smith said there are situations where a vineyard can be susceptible.
“Hillside vineyards have mixed conifers. They’ve got vegetation, permanent tree vegetation, along their borders and that fuel load is what is pretty dramatic, pretty excessive in terms of fires. If the vineyard is planted on the edge, that vineyard could indeed be impacted.”