Rocky Fire Status Report: Impact to Lake County Wine Industry (August 4, 2015)
Kelseyville, Calif. August 4, 2015 – The Lake County Winegrape Commission continues to be in consultation with CAL FIRE, the Lake County Office of Emergency Services, Lake County Winery Association, and local grapegrowers as a means to identify impacts to the local wine and winegrape industry. On behalf of Lake County’s grape growers, the Commission wishes to convey sincere gratitude to the firefighters battling the blaze and concern for those who have been displaced or lost homes, pets, or livestock.
The Rocky Fire is located in dry scrubland in the eastern part of Lake County, far east of where most of the region’s vineyards are located.
As of mid-day on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, no damage to any Lake County vineyards or wineries had been reported.
Late Monday night into Tuesday morning, a team of bulldozers cut in a 70-foot-wide containment line along Benmore Canyon, east of Cache Creek Vineyards, which is located at Highway 20 and New Long Valley Road and one of two wineries currently under evacuation orders; the other is Noggle Winery, which is located further west along Old Long Valley Road. Winery operations at Six Sigma Ranch in Lower Lake resumed early this week after being evacuated last Thursday; the fire burned a few acres at the top of the ranch property (approximately three miles from the ranch’s vineyard plantings) but quickly was stopped by bulldozers.
Since Wednesday, July 29, Lake County’s normal “lake effect” westerly winds and cooling westerly ridgetop winds have helped to keep the smoke away from almost all Lake County vineyards. Winds shifted easterly for a brief period on Friday, July 31, causing smoke to linger over much of the county for a few hours before clearing out. At this time, smoke-related impacts to the area’s winegrapes are estimated to be minimal to none.
About the Lake County Wine Region
- High-altitude winegrowing region, part of California’s North Coast appellation
- Lake County’s total vineyard acreage: 8,718
- Number of Lake County wineries: 35
- Lake County’s 2015 harvest anticipated start: 1-2 weeks (whites); 3 weeks (reds)
About the Rocky Fire
The Rocky Fire started in Lower Lake on Wednesday July 29 and, as of Tuesday morning, had burned 65,000 acres of steep, rugged wildland in eastern Lake County, Colusa County, and Yolo County. For complete fire updates, evacuation orders, and road closures, go online to CalFIRE Incident Information at: http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents or call the Rocky Fire Information Center at (707) 967-4207.
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