SOMERSET (CBS13) — The area of Somerset was smoking with flames off Grizzly Flat Road as airdrops tried to halt the Caldor Fire from coming dangerously close to several wineries.
“It’s been 10 days, 10 days where it comes at you and doesn’t quite make it. The next day, it comes a bit closer,” said Randy Rossi, owner of Saluti Cellar.READ MORE: Bicyclist Hit By Vehicle In Downtown Sacramento
As smoke fills the canyon, Rossi and his own crew rushed to help fire crews protect his 250-acre winery.
“We would go to spot fires. We were right there with them,” he explained.
Rossi said helicopters used his pond on the property as a water source to help fight the fire from all directions, even from flames miles away. Bulldozers cut fire breaks and hand crews worked to put out hot spots to make sure the fire didn’t jump the line.
“We have a very good defense and every time something burns, it’s that much less that is going to come back at you. So, we will sleep better tonight than yesterday,” explained Rossi.READ MORE: Crews Contain Fire Near Sheridan, Evacuations Lifted
Tuesday night, Cal Fire crews said their biggest concern was shifting winds, threatening other vineyards like Conduit Wine, about seven miles away from Saluti. Fire crews there, according to owners Amy and Aaron Bryan, spent the day laying back fires to make a perimeter.
“We clawed our way out of the pandemic in San Francisco and lost all of our restaurants and bar business, got back and tried to climb out of a hole and this happens right during harvest,” said Amy.
The couple opened their vineyards 13 months ago. They were able to grab around eight out of 17 tons of grapes before the fire came their way. Now, they are hoping the smoke and fire don’t taint the rest of their crop.
“We pretty much pushed all-in on this property. So, it would be pretty devastating I would say. We’re trying not to think about that,” explained Aaron.MORE NEWS: Roe V. Wade Demonstrations Being Held In Downtown Sacramento
Aaron went to his winery Tuesday to grab equipment. The couple explained fellow winemakers were allowing them to finish production in their facility.