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Glass Fire forces thousands to evacuate, threatens vineyards in wine country

For some of the more than 550 winegrowers of Napa Valley, there’s too much at stake to leave their crops behind at the height of harvest season.

CALISTOGA, Calif. — Another terrifying night is settling in over California wine country.

Near the city of Calistoga, the wooded area by the Schramberg Vineyards is in flame. The vineyard sits right next door to the famous castle of the iconic Castello di Amorosa vineyard that burned

The blaring hi-lo siren echoed through downtown Calistoga Monday evening, warning residents that they had to evacuate. It’s now a ghost town.

“[I have] a lot of anxiety. This is not our first fire,” said Calistoga resident Laurie Bounsal.

Bounsal packed up family heirlooms and fueled up her truck before heading out of town. It’s become a yearly routine for the past three years.

“The Tubbs Fire, the Kincade Fire, and now the Glass Fire. We’re ready to not be running away from fires again,” Bounsal said.

But for some of the more than 550 winegrowers of Napa Valley, there’s too much at stake to leave their crops behind at the height of harvest season.

“You know what? It’s agriculture,” said Jim Regusci with Regusci Vineyards.

Credit: Van Tieu

With the orange glow of fire peering down on them, Regusci and his crew started spraying water on the buildings at T-Vine Winery of Highway 29. Regusci bought a fire truck last week.

“Now we have our own fire division in our own company,” Regusci said.

After suffering losses in the Tubbs Fire three years ago, Regusci said self-preservation has become second nature to him. While fire crews work to save lives, he says he’ll do what he can to save his livelihood.

“Once this is over, you know, people coming back, that helps everyone in this industry,” Regusci said.

Even with fire at his doorstep, a resilient Regusci says Napa Valley will bounce back for locals and visitors alike.

Regusci says he and his crew will wait out the night protecting their property. It will be another long night ahead.

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WATCH ALSO: Santa Rosa community devastated by Glass Fire, just three years after the Tubbs Fire