NAPA, Calif. (KRON) — In Napa the LNU Lightning Complex fires are affecting a great number of agricultural workers who are still out working despite current conditions.
“We were alerted Monday morning that fires were raging in the eastern portion of the county, … everything went from a few hundred acres to a few thousand,” said Ryan Klobas Chief Executive Office for the Napa County Farm Bureau.
“Now we are seeing fires continuing to burn in east county clearly impacting a lot of Napa agricultural right now and the agricultural workers but harvest is underway in Napa County.”
“We still have an obligation to go out as perform the essential work that agricultural workers provide.”
The untimely fires come as some Napa growers were just starting to begin their harvest –but as fires continue to burn the smoke in the air has now caused another major challenge for the industry.
“Now having the fires impacted you have things like Cal/OSHA wildfire smoke requirements that you have to pay attention to.”
“ COVID-19 going into harvest was going to present various challenges for us in terms of what it would look like, conducting harvest and having enough people to conduct harvest.”
“You have to provide N95 masks to workers and because of COVID there’s been a shortage of N95 masks so we’ve been working really close with the agricultural office to obtain the masks and make sure they are distributed to farmworkers.”
The county’s agricultural office has begun to take in requests from agricultural and winery businesses returning to their properties to assess any damages they may have sustained.
There is a survey for growers and businesses requesting access to their agricultural properties.
For county resources and up-to-date information, click here.