Yesterday, the road through Sonoma Valley (aka State Highway 12, or the Valley of the Moon Scenic Highway) reopened fully for the first time since the recent fires. The photo above shows my car parked at the Valley of the Moon Winery, near Madrone. The vineyard is undamaged, but you can see scorched hillsides in the background.
Assuming that I could get there, I’d been planning to attend the reopening of the Sonoma Depot Park Museum, but that has been postponed due to the fires. Thus my journey yesterday took me only as far down the valley as Madrone.
The photo below shows a closeup of grapes still on the vines in front of the winery, while the charred hillsides are visible beyond.
Fire in the Hills
The distinctive Ledson Winery chateau, near Oakmont, was featured in recent television news reports of the firefighting efforts in Sonoma Valley.
My photo below shows the aftermath. The winery is apparently undamaged, but was closed yesterday when I visited. The fire-scorched hills beyond are clearly visible.
Fire in the Valley
Sadly, some parts of the valley floor did not escape destruction. My photo below shows a roadside area near Beltane Ranch (between Oakmont and Madrone), where houses and barns stood before the fire. You can see the charred ground and trees.
There is even worse damage alongside Route 12 elsewhere, but yesterday in those locations the police, and even the National Guard, were mounting a heavy presence, to deter looters or souvenir hunters.
More details of the damage are provided in this San Francisco Chronicle article.