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Wineries Add Up Fire Damage

August 03, 1996|From Associated Press

AGUA CALIENTE, Calif. — Winery owners added up their losses Friday as firefighters attacked the last flames of a 2,000-acre Sonoma County blaze that scorched the edges of Northern California's wine country.

Flames destroyed 45 acres of vineyards owned by several wineries, accounting for $1.8 million of the total $2.1 million in damage, said Sharon Torrence of the California Department of Forestry.

"Each individual grape stock plant is worth approximately $5,000 if it's mature," she said.

A home and a cottage were destroyed early in the blaze, which began Wednesday.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. took responsibility for the blaze and offered to pay damages, saying that a tree branch had touched a 12,000-volt power line.

About 1,260 firefighters were still battling the blaze, which was expected to be contained by Friday night and out by Sunday night, Torrence said. Many of the crew are leaving soon, she said.

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