Farmers and ranchers recovering from the 7,500-acre Sherpa Fire have reported upward of $3 million in loses. The wind-driven wildfire, which started near Refugio Pass on 6/15, impacted seven agricultural operations on six ranches, burning avocado, grape, olive, and coffee crops and about 2,800 acres of rangeland, according to Rudy Martel, the county’s assistant agricultural commissioner. Estimates include loss of fencing, irrigation systems, machinery, and future harvests. A newly planted avocado tree, for example, needs about five years before it produces marketable fruit. “Yes, you have immediate losses from the fire,” Martel said, “but then you’re losing future crops. That needs to be accounted for.” Firefighters fully contained the blaze on 7/11; its cause has not been released.


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