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Wine Country Wildfires Leave Devastating Path of Death, Destruction

Raging wild fires swept across Northern California’s wine country, killing at least 17 and destroying more than 2,000 homes and businesses since Sunday night. Hot, dry and windy conditions fueled 17 wildfires across seven counties that in the initial two days already rank among the deadliest in the state’s history.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection chief Ken Pimlott told AP, “This is just pure devastation, and it’s going to take us a while to get out and comb through all of this.”

The death toll and property damage is expected to increase, even as more firefighters join the ongoing battle with several days of fire weather conditions ahead. At least 185 people have been injured and nearly 200 people were reported missing in Sonoma County alone.

Some of the largest blazes hit Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries. Among the commercial businesses in Santa Rosa or Napa reportedly lost or damaged include: Applebee’s, Arbys, McDonald’s, Best Value Inn and Suites, Coddington Mobile Estates, Estancia Apartments, Fountaingrove Inn & The Steakhouse @ Equus, Frey Vineyards Winery, Furniture 2000, Golden Vineyards, Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, K-Mart, Oster Wine Cellars, Paradise Ridge Winery, Signorello Estates & Winery, and White Rock Vineyards.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.