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California business owner talks wildfires' impact

As wildfires continue to rage throughout California, ABC 57 is taking a look at how the destruction could impact the state--and country's economies.

The owner of Calistoga Wine Stop, which sits about 30 minutes away from Santa Rosa, where seven people died, says they can still see the remnants of the wildfires' wake.

"Normally I don’t think you can see air, so you can see the air... I think we’re going to have smoke in the air for a couple more days," said the owner of Calistoga Wine Stop, Tom Pelter.

He says he's still not sure how many of the vineyards with whom they work have been affected, but he still has to make his shipments, some of which come right here to Michiana.

These wildfires could have a big impact on California's economy.

So far, they've scorched more than 115,000 acres of land, most being in wine country.

A 2015 report by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers says that the California wine sector contributes a total of $57.6 billion annually to California's economy and $114.1 billion annually to the country's economy.

The damage will likely grow, but the Calistoga Wine Stop owner says he hopes first responders can start fighting fires now instead of urging people to run from them.

“Fire is a nasty thing, and when there’s wind involved, it’s very very dangerous. You have to be very careful Doesn’t make you feel good. Just makes you think I better think and I better be prepared," said Pelter.


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