Rocky Fire Status Report: Impact to Lake County Wine Industry (August 3, 2015)

Kelseyville, Calif. August 3, 2015 – Since late last week, the Lake County Winegrape Commission has been in consultation with the Lake County Office of Emergency Services (Lake County OES), CalFIRE, Lake County Winery Association, and several local grapegrowers as a means to identify impacts to the local wine and winegrape industry.

On Monday morning, CalFIRE updated its mandatory evacuation orders, which included Cache Creek Winery and Noggle Winery, both of which are located off Highway 20, east of Highway 53. To our knowledge, as of mid-day on Monday, August 3, 2015, no damage to any Lake County vineyards or wineries had been reported.

On Thursday, Six Sigma Ranch in Lower Lake had been evacuated at the request of CalFIRE. According to Six Sigma’s Vice President and Vineyard Manager Christian Ahlmann, the fire had 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 five bulldozers. Winery operations have since resumed.

Since Wednesday, winds have carried smoke mostly away from the county’s major winegrowing areas. Winds shifted briefly on Friday, causing smoke to linger in the skies over much of the county for about a half-day before clearing out. At this time, smoke-related impacts to the area’s winegrapes are estimated to be minimal to none.

The Rocky Fire started in Lower Lake on Wednesday afternoon and, as of Monday morning, had burned 60,000 acres of mostly steep, rugged wildland in 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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