By Angela Greenwood

LODI (CBS13) — With wine country up in flames, tourists on vacation are being re-routed, and many of them have headed to Lodi.

Many of the vacationers are from out of state and still have days left before flying home. One group arrived just hours before the firestorm. They're now finishing their trip in Lodi, along with many others.

Florida tourist Debby Geisen said, "We don't know the area; we didn't really know where to go."

A group of tourists from Ohio and Florida ended up in a shelter in Calistoga on their first night.

"About 1:30 in the morning they woke us up and said we had to evacuate the hotel," said Ohio tourist Kelly Dalton.

The trip had been planned for a year and a half, and it was one on Debbie Geisen's bucket list. She even left a day early to avoid Hurricane Nate in Florida, only to fly into the fire.

"The mountain was on fire, it's a mile and a half from us," said Geisen.

Far away from home, they felt helpless.

Dalton said, "It's a bad way to start a vacation."

But the group decided to continue their vacation in another vineyard-filled region: Lodi.

"It's been welcoming for us," she said.

As tourists escape the flames in Wine Country, hotel and motel rooms are filling up in Lodi.

Craig Forrest, owner of Bordeaux Inn Bed and Breakfast, said, "For vacationers, it's like 'where can I be safe?' and if we can make that happen, we're happy to welcome them."

Forrest says Tuesday morning he got a call that a couple from Virginia vacationing in Napa needed a place to stay. He booked them his last room.

"What's very pleasing and fulfilling to me is to be able to be of help and service to someone in need," said Forrest.

Wineries across the city have also been busy with tourists who fled the fire.

Lodi Wine and Visitor Center Executive Director Wendy Brannen said, "This is hitting very close to us."

The Lodi wine community says its main focus is on the devastation their neighbors are suffering.

"It's not about our area. It's about the people who are our friends and colleagues, and we want to do anything we can to support them," said Brannen.

Wineries across the Sacramento region say they are seeing a lot of traffic in the area as well, as tourists look for a safe place to finish their vacations.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s