"As drought-fueled wildfires rage across the West, farm communities on the frontlines are feeling the heat."
"As you read this, wildfires are burning on about 1.7 million acres of land across the western United States. Most are in Washington and Oregon, where fire is raging uncontained in 23 separate locations. So far this year, nearly 7.7 million acres have been directly affected by wildfires—almost three times more than by this point last year.
Harvest season is also in full swing in Oregon and Washington, the states that produce most of the country’s apples, pears, cherries, and hops (for brewing beer). While it’s still too early to gauge the full impact of this year’s wildfire season on the nation’s agriculture, it is clear that the effects are already being felt.
'I’ve been in the business almost 35 years and can’t remember when wildfire attacked a building of any significance from the outside,' said Mac Riggan, director of marketing for Chelan Fresh Marking, a north central Washington fruit co-op that lost a 240,000 square foot packing plant when a wildfire encroached on the building in mid-August."