Death toll in California wildfires grows to 42, PG&E hit with lawsuit


RMS, a risk modeling firm, has put economic losses for the Northern California fires at between $3 billion and $6 billion but it could rise. Some of the damage is from lost businesses, including hotels, stores and wineries.

In Napa Valley, at least 47 wineries suffered direct damage but “just a handful experienced significant property loss,” the Napa Valley Vintners trade association announced Wednesday. It said the 2017 vintage is still “expected to be excellent” in the region.

The trade organization said winemakers with grapes picked after the fires started are having the fruit “laboratory-tested for the possible effects of smoke. Everything possible will be done to ensure only the highest quality 2017 wines go to market.”

As of Wednesday, some 95 percent of the wine grapes were harvested in Napa Valley, according to Cate Conniff, a spokesperson for the wine industry group.

Even so, the Napa Valley association still expects “lower than average” volumes from the 2017 vintage.

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