Multiple greenhouses burned in a fiery blaze July 23 at Loudpack Farms in Greenfield, Calif., a small town two hours south of San Francisco on Rt. 101. No injuries were reported.
The fire, however, moved swiftly and dramatically, according to local news reports. The Greenfield Fire Department could only confirm to Cannabis Business Times that the fire investigation was “ongoing” as of July 24. CBT will update this story as additional information is made available.
“[The fire] spread very, very quickly," Jeff Terpstra, interim fire chief with Greenfield Fire Dept., told KSBW. "The winds pushed it through the greenhouse structures very, very quickly." He added that the greenhouses did not have sprinkler systems installed.
Loudpack Farms provided a statement to Cannabis Business Times: "As we head back to work today after the unexpected fires at our Greenfield facility yesterday, we wanted to take a moment to thank the Greenfield Fire Department again for their incredible efforts in getting the fire under control so quickly. While we are still assessing the damages, we can confirm that five of the eight greenhouses were affected. Luckily, the manufacturing and processing facilities were not affected so we are able to maintain our regular production.
“Since this is an open investigation, we can’t comment specifically on what caused the fire but we will be putting our focus toward rebuilding the damaged property in the coming weeks and thank the community for its continued support.”
Loudpack Farms, located near the center of town, is Greenfield’s largest employer. The company holds cultivation and manufacturing licenses on the premises. Other companies, like DNA Genetics, use cultivation space at the facilities.
“The news reports say that they’re investigating, and these investigations can take weeks or a month,” Nadia Sabeh, founder of consulting firm Dr. Greenhouse, told Cannabis Business Times.
The Greenfield Fire Department could not confirm the cause or causes of the fire to CBT.
Sabeh cited overloaded circuits as one cause of greenhouse fires, which aren’t terribly common. Other causes, Sabeh added, include lamps short-circuiting or surges of electricity caused by a motor turning on for a light deprivation curtain, for example. Or, multiple pieces of equipment, such as fans or shade motors, can turn on at exactly the same time and cause an electrical surge that can spark a fire, Sabeh said.
Spontaneous combustion from fertilizers or other chemicals stored in the heat of the greenhouse can also cause fires, she added.
“I’m very eager to find out what happened because whatever happened, you know it’s going to impact the industry as a whole,” Sabeh said.
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Top photo courtesy of Google Maps