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Cakebread Cellars ‘ruled out’ from causing Napa wildfire

After launching its own investigation, Cakebread Cellars has proved that its electric fence was not responsible for starting a devastating wildfire in California last year.

The Glassfire, thought to be 10th most destructive wildfire ever in California, raged through the state last September causing millions of dollars worth of damage, including the loss of 650 homes.

One possible point of origin, according to officials, was an electric fence at a mountain vineyard belonging to Cakebread Cellars, one of Napa’s best-known wineries.

Fearing reputational damage and a significant compensation battle, Cakebread hired a team of forensic experts to determine whether the fire had, in fact, started on its property. Through photographs taken during the early hours of the fire, the investigation was able to show that the Cakebread fence did not ignite the fire, nor did the blaze start on the winery’s land.

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, Cakebread’s investigators used ‘photogrammetry’ to prove their case, taking measurements from the snaps and using these to plot the location of the fire at the time those photographs were taken. The results of Cakebread Cellars’ investigation were used in Cal Fire’s own independent review of the catastrophic event. Cal Fire has so far been unable to determine the exact origin of the fire.

According to the Chronicle, the Cakebread family claims its intention was to seek the truth through its investigation, rather than simply try to clear its name. “If it was us, we were going to take our lumps with it. We wanted to understand what happened there,” co-owner Bruce Cakebread told the newspaper. “But if it wasn’t us, we wanted to understand that, too.”

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