Greens grower-shipper San Miguel Produce Inc. has resumed full operations after the December Thomas fire, which swept through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
San Miguel’s Ventura County fields were spared, but fire conditions caused harvesting and processing delays, according to a news release. Road closures affected access to fields and ash affected quality.
“Typically, we see Santa Ana winds blow for two or three days,” Roy Nishimori, San Miguel CEO, said in the release. “These strong winds lasted nearly 10 days. I have been farming for over 40 years in Ventura County and have not seen anything like this before.”
Heavy rains followed the fires, causing mudslides that have killed at least 20 people and blocking roads. Although road closures have prevented some San Miguel Produce employees from returning to work, they have not affected the company’s operations, according to the release.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, pets, farms/orchards and livestock affected by the recent wildfires and mudslides,” chief operating officer Jan Berk said in the release.
During the wildfires, San Miguel Produce officials monitored weather conditions to ensure safety of employees, and provided them special masks to protect them from poor air quality.