It has been nearly two weeks since wildfires began ravaging Northern California. During that time, more than 40,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes. There are currently 40 confirmed deaths, countless others have been treated for burns, smoke inhalation and injuries, and 68 people are still missing.
Along with this tragic toll, countless homes and businesses were ravaged by the fires, with experts saying that the damage could amount to as much as $65 billion. It’s hard to imagine such massive destruction, especially for those of us who are thousands of miles away, but the before-and-after pictures of some of the region’s most beautiful wineries and landmarks tell a haunting story.
Here is a gorgeous photo of Signorello Estate in Napa Valley before the wildfires struck:
And after, the grounds are hardly recognizable:
As you can see, the destruction was total and relentless, turning this …
… into this:
And here is a picture of the wildfire’s impact at Paradise Ridge Winery:
But, interestingly enough, one part of Paradise Ridge was not destroyed in the fires: their famous “LOVE” sign. Here it is before the blaze:
These images give a frightening glimpse into the reality that many Californians are now facing. Their homes, businesses, schools and places of worship have been destroyed, and even those establishments that are left standing have been impacted by the smoke.
If you would like to help with the relief efforts, there are many ways that you can meaningfully donate to charities that are doing massive good in these communities. If you live near the region, you could open up your home to families displaced by the blaze (go to Airbnb to learn more). Or you could help firefighters who lost their own homes in the fires while they were helping to save other people’s homes. Visit the California State Firefighter’s Association to find out how.
You can also help support animals that were abandoned or lost in the fires by donating to an organization like Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch. Or you could donate money to important relief organizations like United Way of Wine Country or Redwood Empire Food Bank.