Los Angeles/Chicago/San Francisco — The fires ravaging northern California could leave the area’s renowned wine industry with damage that will be felt long after the final flames burn out. At least four Napa Valley vineyards have been destroyed or significantly damaged, and the toll may be even worse in Sonoma County to the west. Though the majority of grapes have already been picked for the season, the effects of the smoke on those remaining may mean they have to be thrown out, diminishing this year’s vintage. The wildfires continue to rage, after suddenly and swiftly sweeping through the region from Sunday night. The area is home to a thriving tourism industry and some of the most valuable vineyards in the US. While it’s too early to gauge the extent of damage to California’s wine industry, which contributed almost $58bn to the state economy last year, the effects are likely to be lasting. "A significant amount of acreage will likely be out of commission for a while" in the region...
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