Wildfires don’t just destroy homes, they also harm the people who produce our food. In 2017 alone, California’s fire season cost farmers and ranchers over $170 million. In Ventura county, 60,000 acres of rangeland were damaged by the fire. Those ranchers had already lost almost all their cattle feed to drought, left with nothing to sustain their cattle through winter.
Want to know the breakdown? That’s $98 million in farm service buildings were destroyed and an additional $25 million in farm machinery, which doesn’t even count crop loss. The wildfires burned through 8,060,000 pounds of avocados–over $10 million worth. 7,591 tons of lemons were lost, along with 3,680 tons of oranges.
These fires were the worst in California’s history, part of an alarming trend that’s extended the fire season by four months. Farmers and ranchers are the backbone of America, feeding millions around the world, depending on a stable climate to do it. In 2017, farmers and ranchers were hit with billions of dollars in damages from climate change fueled disasters, a loss that cost us all.