Wine country fires: An economic hit to the state?

A sign thanking first responders hangs by a newly planted vineyard in Napa. With the winds dying down, fire crews gained ground as they battled wildfires that have devastated California wine country. (Eric Risberg / AP)

This weeks Question: Will the California economy suffer from the devastating fires in wine country?

Bob’s Answer: Yes
Wildfires disrupt the lives of workers, employers and families and might cause instability in local labor markets, however, the economy will benefit from insurance and federal and state spending. Statewide employment and wages may increase in some sectors during wildfires, reducing impacts of employment disruptions and fire suppression costs. The real problems are with water quality, wildlife habitat, air pollution and more. That is where the costs are often underestimated by a wide margin.

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