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Sonoma County Wildfires Tourism Update

Dorathy Gass

The wildfires that have blazed across California had a significantly negative impact on Sonoma County, however there is some good news via a recent update. According to Sonoma County Tourism’s interim CEO, Tim Zahner, a majority of the vineyards, natural beauty, incredible wine, and local-grown food remain intact after the massive wildfire swept through parts of the state.

Travel Week noted that Zahner continued by saying that citizens of Sonoma County have been humbled by the help from emergency responders during the region’s recent wildfire destruction. While the fires are situated across the eastern border of the region, including Santa Rosa, Sonoma Valley, and Geyserville areas, they are in the process of being contained. Additionally, the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, as well as southern and western Sonoma County, have not felt the effects of the blazes.

The beauty of these such incidents are the outpouring of aid recovery and well wishes that comes with any disaster, and the situation in Sonoma County is no different. Zayner has stated that while it is early within the area’s situation, there are various ways to support the region.

Not-for-profits in the area such as Sonoma County Resilience Fund and North Bay Fire Relief are currently gathering funds to help those affected or displaced by the fires.

Zayner did note, visitors to Sonoma County and others can also support the area by purchasing products made in, grown in, or brewed in the region. This includes cheese makers, farmers, local artists, and of course, wineries. As he put it, if everyone who purchased a bottle of wine from the area last year donated the same amount to recovery efforts, the help would go a long way.

He also added that there will be a time when Sonoma County will need tourists more than ever to help the region’s hospitality industry get back on their feet. Zayner stated that Sonoma County has 20,000 jobs linked to tourism that lie within locally owned business. He also noted that he looks forward to seeing and welcoming visitors back to the area.

Zayner also encouraged tourists to contact wineries, restaurants, and hotels prior to visiting. Additional updates on Sonoma County can be found via SonomaCounty.com/openforbiz.

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