Gebbers continues with harvest, fruit packing despite fires

A wall of flames approaches one of Gebbers Farms' orchards near Pateros on Friday.

BREWSTER — Gebbers Farms, which has extensive orchard properties and fruit-packing facilities in Okanogan County, suffered minimal damage and is continuing to pack fruit.

The company, which employs many people in the Brewster-Pateros area, said Friday it planned be at full operation this weekend.

“Our heart goes out to all of the families that have lost their homes and have been impacted by this disaster,” the company said in a written statement. “We are extremely thankful that there have been few injuries and no deaths.”

It also acknowledged those who helped protect homes and businesses, including friends, employees and emergency responders.

“So much was lost, and so much was also saved by the help given,” the company said.

A full assessment of the impact of the fires on all company facilities and orchards was conducted Friday.

“There has been no direct fire damage to any of the Gebbers Farms packing or storage facilities in the area,” the company said. “There has been minimal damage to orchards, primarily to some outside tree rows, from the fires. The vast majority of orchards were not touched by the fires.”

The fires have not damaged the cherry crop, and the company continued harvest Friday morning.

All company packing and storage facilities in Brewster were fully on line as of Friday afternoon.

The company planned to be at full operation Saturday, both in the processing plants and orchards, for all employees who were able to make it to work.

“We also understand that many of our employees are dealing with the impact of the fires and we give them our complete support and time that they will need to deal with this tragedy,” the company said.

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