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How worsening wildfire seasons are threatening businesses of all sizes in California and Oregon, from tech giant Apple to small food trucks

How worsening wildfire seasons are threatening businesses of all sizes in California and Oregon, from tech giant Apple to small food trucks

Firefighters keep an eye on the Creek Fire along state Highway 168, September 6, 2020, in Shaver Lake, California.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo




The recent blazing wildfires on the West Coast have burned through businesses and ruined livelihoods.




Small companies are particularly at risk: Many have closed down because of fire damage, and may never re-open.




"The Almeda fire took our home and our business," saidA Phoenix Sigalove, a food truck owner in Ashland, Oregon.




School-owner Lola Conde Danforth in Ashland told Business Insider that although the school building is still intact, the hazardous smoke has forced her to close its doors.




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


The current wildfire season in California and Oregon has been the worst to date, killing more than 30 people, destroying nearly 10,000 structures, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes, and incinerating more than a million acres. Many businesses that are still standing have suffered from structural damage, reduced income, and job insecurity.The total cost of the damage and destruction is at least $8 billion, according to economists - but the final price tag could be much higher. For many small businesses, the fires are an existential threat.Lola Conde Danforth owns a small local preschool called Pea Pod Village in Ashland, South Oregon. A mixture of COVID-19 closures and wildfires - in particular the Almeda Fire - has made 2020 "the worst year ever," she told Business Insider, adding that "businesses are just closing everywhere."A Her preschool of 10 children had to close from March because of COVID-19 restrictions. The fires started on the first day of the new school year, September 8 - and while the structure is still intact, hazardous smoke levels throughout the week forced Danforth to close the school again. "We're not just talking about forced fire smoke, this is toxic because of all the homes, businesses, and vehicles that the fires have burnt through," she said.
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