Image: Burned avocado trees.
Sandy Huffaker  /  Getty Images
"If they can survive the fire, they can still harvest later," a state agriculture spokesman said of the damaged trees.
updated 10/24/2007 7:34:10 PM ET 2007-10-24T23:34:10

If guacamole prices are higher when the Super Bowl rolls around in February, blame the fires in Southern California.

More than 20,000 acres of avocado trees in northern San Diego County have been lost, at least a third of the state's crop, with another 15,000 acres threatened by flames, emergency officials said.

State farmers usually plant about 62,000 acres of avocados, and the industry is worth about $276 million annually, said state Department of Agriculture spokesman Jay Van Rein.

"If they can survive the fire, they can still harvest later," Van Rein said.

But if trees are lost, growers will have to replant orchards and wait years to harvest.

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