California Fires:
MI Industry Update

California's deadly wildfires have burned nearly 5,700 structures and over 213,000 acres since they exploded in early October, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. While MI businesses are reopening, the fires have consumed homes and displaced team members.

Santa Rosa, a city in Sonoma County, was among the hardest-hit areas, with at least 2,834 homes, businesses and other buildings destroyed there, according to ABC News. Although Bananas At Large, a pro-audio retailer, has reopened its Santa Rosa location, the wildfires have taken a toll on the homes of its employees.

"While all of our staff members are safe, they have all been affected by these fires, with some even losing their homes," said Anna Wayne, marketing manager. "It has been a very difficult week, but it has been really amazing to see the outpouring of support from our community to help those in need."

Another MI retailer in the area, Stanroy Music Center, told Music Inc. that several team members have been displaced but none have lost homes. A company representative stated that "things are getting better."

A supplier in Santa Rosa, EMG Pickups, posted the following message on its Facebook page on Oct. 16:

"We are back open!! This past week EMG Pickups was closed because of the fires that hit the North Bay here in California. We were extremely lucky and our building is still standing. We first want to say a big thank you to CalFire and all the other #FireFighters who came from all over the country to control these devastating fires. Second, we want to thank you all for your patience and well wishes! We will be working hard this week to get everything shipped and get all of your technical support questions answered!! Thank you all!!!"

Joy Cafiero, marketing director at Kala Brand Music, reported that team members are safe but have been evacuated from their homes.

"A lot of Sonoma County people are in shelters for now," Cafiero said. "We had five dogs, two cats and two guinea pigs at the office this week," she added.

With widespread destruction, the fires have impacted the residents of Northern California. Shubb Capos' Gary Mobles said that it has been a harrowing time. Loud and Clear Music's Neville Hormuz said that his team members are "OK" but are in shock.

"There are so many around us that are devastated," Hormuz said.

To help the community, the combo shop started an instrument drive. Thus far, the store has received 25 donations. The store is also conducting a monthly restringing fundraiser for Petaluma Animal Services for their rescues. MI

Music Inc. will update the story when more information becomes available.

— By Kasia Fejklowicz & Alex Harrell