Too soon to tell fires' impact on future tourism

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For some time to come, tourism to California’s wine country could be another likely victim of the devastating wildfires in Northern California, but the extent isn’t clear yet.

In the wake of the fires in recent days in and around Sonoma County, Calif., Brad Calkins, executive director of the Visit Santa Rosa tourism agency, issued this emailed statement late Tuesday:

“At this time, our team at Visit Santa Rosa does not have an assessment of the damage caused by the fires in Santa Rosa and greater Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. We know that our community has sustained losses and that many of our partners, friends and neighbors have been impacted. Our immediate priority is the safety and well-being of Santa Rosa’s residents and visitors and we encourage people to remain out of the evacuated areas until emergency responders confirm it is safe to return. With the state’s resources mobilized by Governor Brown’s declaration of a state of emergency, we trust fire containment will be swift and that recovery will begin quickly. Our community is resilient and we pledge Visit Santa Rosa’s utmost support to rapidly restoring the city’s thriving tourism sector and vibrant spirit.”