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North Bay Winery Marks 5 Years Since the Deadly Tubbs Fire

It’s been five years since the deadly Tubbs Fire burned more than 36,000 acres and destroyed more than 5,600 homes and businesses in the North Bay.

One of the destroyed businesses, the Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, is sharing its new space with the community to commemorate those harrowing days.

The owners of Paradise Ridge were able to reopen in December 2019, just a couple of months before the COVID pandemic shutdown. They say they’ve been through a lot over the past few years.

“I hadn’t had a lot of time to reflect on what we went through and the rebuilding process,” co-owner Rene Byck said. “We want to thank the community for their support of us and give them recognition for how resilient they’ve been, how quickly we’ve rebuilt and what a bright future we have.”

On Sunday, the owners organized an event to commemorate the start of the Tubbs Fire and the community’s resilience. Local and state leaders were in attendance.

Byck said even though the fire was devastating and deadly, it helped the community learn to better prepare for disasters.

“We learned from our mistakes as a community about how to deal with this,” he said. “Like getting out early warning signs, communication to the community. Two years later, we had the Kincade Fire. Everyone was pretty sure we were gonna lose parts of Windsor and Headlsburg, but because of what we learned, a lot was saved, mostly because of early warning, letting people know to get out.”

The only part of the winery that didn’t burn in the Tubbs Fire was a sculpture garden. And miraculously, most of the vines survived.

While Paradise Ridge is open for business, it hasn’t been able to rebuild its production facility and is still making wine off-site. The owners are hoping to break ground on a new production facility next year.

“We’re excited about what the future holds for us,” Byck said. “I feel like this is a turning point for our community too. I’m proud of our community. Because we have the common act of the fire, it really made our community a lot stronger.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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