Steve Stewart, Operations Manager at Chelan Fruit Cooperative, looks over damage at a warehouse off Highway 150 during the Reach Fire Complex on August 15, 2015, in Chelan, Washington. Mike Bonnicksen/Wenatchee World
Several fires in North Central Washington are still very active, forcing evacuations, taking power out, damaging structures, and claiming lives.
It’s still too early to put a finger on how the effects of the fires will reverberate in the fruit industry.
One of the primary tree fruit cooperatives in the region, Chelan Fresh, says they’re shifting operations and getting back to work on the 2015 crops, as reported by the Wenatchee World.
Of the hundreds of photos published by photojournalists covering these fires, the above image shot by the Wenatchee World’s Mike Bonnicksen, tells the story of the packaging house damage to Chelan Fruit’s Plant 1 facility.
In the photo above, operations manager Steve Stewart strides past burned out rows of newly harvested Galas while flames burn inside a pump house attached to Plant 1.
In an interview with Good Fruit Grower, Stewart said that even with Plant 1 shut down and Plant 2 hit with smoke damage, “we’re just looking at this as just a hiccup in our operation, and we’re carrying on as normal. Basically making things happen so it does not affect the growers in any way.”
TJ Mullinax joined Good Fruit Grower as digital producer and photojournalist in 2013. He photographs and edits visual stories for the print magazine and online publishing spaces. Along with editorial production, TJ develops and maintains the magazine’s digital products. -- Follow the author: Phone: (509) 853-3519 -- Email