How Napa’s devastating Glass Fire prepared crews for brutal 2021 fire season

Wildfires

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — It’s been almost a year since the Glass Fire sparked in the Napa Valley area, leaving many wineries recovering and rebuilding to this day – even as we head into peak wildfire season.

The devastating wildfire taught many lessons that will be used to prepare for a brutal 2021 fire season.

The historic drought Californians are experiencing right now has caused the land in the North Bay to be extremely dry, which is potentially leading the area to one of the worst fire seasons we’ve ever seen.

Napa Valley wineries are currently faced with preparing for the future while recovering from the past.

The Glass Fire started burning out of control early in the morning on September 27, 2020.
At one point, the fire was burning one acre of land every five seconds.

Napa Fire was one of the first departments to respond to the unpredictable blaze.

After evacuating people who live and work in Napa County, fire crews worked around the clock to save as many structures as possible.

The president and CEO of Rombauer Vineyards, Bob Knebel, says it got too close for comfort.

“That’s right next door to the original family residence up here. The fire crews fought valiantly to save the family residence and we are so grateful for all the first responders,” Knebel said.

But the flames couldn’t be stopped in other areas – destroying 1,500 structures – including some wineries along Silverado Trail.

Many are still rebuilding to this day.

Walking through the Rombauer property, Knebel explained the ongoing effort to be one step ahead of the next potential wildfire.

Today’s dire conditions mean people need to be prepared at all times.

Napa Fire is continuing to work closely with Cal Fire, who just got a new Shanook firefighting helicopter that’s in service for the summer at the Napa airport.

They also just got a brand-new Fire Hawk, which can carry more people and more water to prevent future wildfires from greater devastation.

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