California: Avocado harvests in final stretch with no reported impacts from fires
As the California avocado harvest season enters its final stages, an industry body has reported that growers appear not to have been affected by the numerous fires currently burning in the state.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency as authorities battle hundreds of blazes.
The fires are thought to have been sparked by a heatwave combined with around 11,000 lightning strikes which have hit the state over the last few days.
Tom Bellamore, President of the California Avocado Commission, told FreshFruitPortal.com: "Of the numerous fires presently occurring throughout California, only one—the Piru Canyon Fire in Ventura County—is near in proximity to any avocado groves.
"Thus far that fire has not impacted any avocado growers, to the Commission’s knowledge. As of several days ago, the fire was about 3,000 acres in size and 30% contained."
He added that the hotter than usual eather across much of the California growing region has kept the 2020 harvest moving along, with nearly 9 million pounds of avocados picked last week.
"That brings the season’s total to roughly 319 million pounds, or about 86% harvested of the expected 370 million pound crop," he said.
"Growers have been irrigating to strengthen the trees and minimize any losses of the 2021 crop, which is currently being carried on the trees as small, immature fruit."