News and Stories


August 27, 2020

Firefighters have been battling two major fires burning in the vicinity of the Salinas Valley growing region for ten days. Please see the attached photo of air quality conditions last week, compared to now.

  • The River Fire has grown from 33,653 acres burned last Thursday (with 7% containment) to 48,732 acres as of today (with 58% containment)
    • The fire is being kept within containment lines
    • Onshore winds from the northwest have kept the flames moving south at a slow pace
  • The Carmel Fire had burned 4,825 acres last week (with 0% containment); current reports state acres burned now total 6,767 (with 60% containment)
    • Better weather and constant firefighting efforts have improved conditions
    • Although smoldering and/or burning persists, this fire should not pose more threats as long as it’s kept in the containment region

Falling ash from both events is affecting all produce fields throughout the Salinas Valley, Watsonville, and the San Juan Batista/Hollister Valley. A layer of ash is covering most crops, with the open frame varieties (green leaf, celery, romaine, etc.) being affected most as ash falls into the core of the plant, making it difficult to remove/wash out.
Workplace safety has been the top concern throughout the wildfire battle, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Growers continue to implement worker safety precautions to protect their employees from the COVID infection and unsafe air due to the heavy smoke and ash that may be in the air.
Markon inspectors will continue to monitor the situation and report back as it unfolds.
Please contact your Markon customer service representative for more information.
©2020 Markon Cooperative, Inc. All rights reserved.