The devastating Thomas Fire, a more than month-long blaze that ravaged Southern California, was finally extinguished in mid-January. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in the state’s history, destroying 273,400 acres. The lengthy duration and intensity of the fire resulted in more than $170 million in damages just in Ventura County, according to the Ventura County Star. Hundreds of thousands of people, residents and tourists alike, have been impacted by the Thomas Fire. Lauris Rose, owner of Cal-Orchid in Santa Barbara, felt the impact first-hand, and said it was a “once-in-a-generation disaster.” The havoc the Thomas Fire wreaked on residents and businesses in the area will not soon be forgotten.
In this month's cover story, Chris Manning takes a look at how the Thomas Fire affected growers in Southern California, and how they're moving forward.
In this issue, we’re also honing in on disease with the 2018 Focus on Disease Control supplement. If you’d like to learn how to emerge victorious in the battle with Pythium, protect your peonies and other plants from Tobacco Rattle Virus, prevent diseases in hydroponic crops or deal more effectively with Xanthomonas on begonia cuttings, don’t miss this section.
Christopher Currey weighs in on the different ways to use Ethephon to your advantage, whether you're using it to suppress stem elongation, prevent premature flowering, or enhance branching. John Bartok’s Tech Solutions column this month is on the importance of light transmission, and how to choose the right materials for your greenhouse. On the legislative front, we talked to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort about how the new tax plan will affect growers in the U.S.
Karen E. Varga, Editor
216-393-0290 | Twitter: @Karen_GIE