The avocado industry goes up in flames

Forest fires in California are burning the avocado groves of California


Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Creative Commons

Emma Kelly, Author

Forest fires in California have been raging flames for as long as most people can remember. Native Californians are more than accustomed to the plight of their wildlife, but the rest of America has turned a blind eye until now. America’s entire avocado industry is being threatened by the fires’ incessant spread throughout the region and even the east coast is suffering the inconveniences brought by the downfall of avocado farmlands. Produce suppliers and business people everywhere are now fighting almost as hard as the environmental activists to aid the California fires.

Just this past week Limoneria, a Santa Paula based lemon and avocado grower, dropped eleven percent in stock. Although the fires are taking a toll on farmers, to the untrained eye the whole situation seems to be an illusion. Upon touring the Limoneria fields, a reporter from CNBC observed,Fire burned right down to the edges of groves. But there doesn’t appear to have been much direct or indirect damage to the orchards themselves.” In the case of this specific grove, the threat of fires is an ominous everlasting threat to their industry. However, one of the major threats that is less known to outside civilians is the burning of important structures. In order to maintain a farm in which food is produced for a cosmopolitan world, structures used in production are pivotal to the success of the industry.

By Wednesday morning of last week, Ventura County California was affected by the Thomas fire sweeping the area. Consequently, 65,000 acres were burned and more than 150 structures were destroyed. Separate from the natural community, 50,000 people faced mandatory evacuation during the scorch of Thomas. Alyssa Houtby, Director of government affairs for the California Citrus Mutual, says, “So far, we don’t have any crop losses.” The California Citrus Mutual accounts for 75 percent of California’s entire citrus production.

As the crop has yet to be majorly impacted, farmers anxiously press for civilians’ cautions in order to prevent any future fires. If the fires were to burn out the entire region, people all over the world would express interest in California fire safety.. When asked to predict what she thought the effect would be on Battlefield High School, freshman Nicole Jimenez states, “I think our classmates would get upset because of the sudden rise of price and everybody would freak out because anything with avocados would have to be taken out of menus.” Jimenez makes an interesting point in expressing the sudden havoc that would be unleashed on the local community. Because of social media and the growing west coast culture being adopted by those of the east, the avocado has become a sort of symbol in pop culture. This attack on a trendy pop culture image may just be a positive result. The power of social media and adolescents everywhere is much greater than most government run initiatives. It seems as though the decrease in fire prevention will only lead to an increase in future safety.