California Wildfires Cause Major Disruption to Door and Window Dealers

From a Milgard dealer who lost his home, to disruption of delivery schedules and employees having to endure severe environmental conditions, the California wild fires are having real effects on the door and window industry.

Labeled the “Camp Fire,” California’s latest wild fire has been one of the deadliest in history. While USA Today reports that the fire has finally been contained, since November 8, 2018, it spread from Butte County, Calif., across 150,000 acres, claiming at least 85 lives along the way, with another 249 still listed as missing. In just 22 days, total destruction includes 19,000 homes and buildings—including one door and window dealer’s home.

Natasha Ramsey, a regional marketing specialist for Milgard Windows and Doors, who’s based in Simi Valley, Calif., reports that some of the company’s dealers had to close for several days, because their homes and offices were so close to the fire. One Milgard dealer even lost his home. Milgard’s facilities were not harmed by the fire, and were able to remain open, but not without disruptions.

“[The fires] affected our delivery of product to dealers in the fire zone,” says Ramsey. “We had to delay some of our routes for up to a week due to this.”

In Chico, Calif., “The skies were black and we couldn’t work,” says Lori Lash, owner of Lash’s Glass. “The air quality was horrible.” Chico is approximately 15 miles from the city of Paradise, Calif., which, according to news reports, was more or less destroyed.

Lash says that many jobs went on hold and the company had to close early during the height of the Camp Fire. She housed a number of people who were impacted personally and let them use her yard. She also housed chefs who came to the area in order to help feed Paradise citizens left homeless. In the midst of the tragedy, Lash also turned to giving people free auto glass, which she provides in addition to flat glass.

“This is going to be an ongoing thing that won’t be over for a while,” says Lash.

In Southern California, the Woolsey fire has also done severe damage to homes and businesses. Travis Shields, project manager at Oakstone Glass Corp., located in Thousand Oaks, Calif., says people who work for the company were evacuated from the area. He says there hasn’t been an overwhelming request for repairs, because most of the buildings and homes affected were completely destroyed.

Much of the area couldn’t be accessed until this week, Shields says. His company has received a few calls about residential and institutional buildings that have broken windows caused by the heat of the fire.

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