A thick plume of black smoke hung over Greenfield, California on Monday, as employees at Loudpack Farms, a licensed cultivator and producer of legal cannabis, watched countless hours of hard work and precious marijuana genetics go up in flames.
According to a slew of reports from across California's central valley, the fire started shortly after 4pm on Monday, July 23rd, and quickly spread to a row of growing facilities, tearing through 12 greenhouses as high winds and hot air fanned the flames.
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With more than 270 employees working at the cannabis cultivation and production facility, Loudpack is Greenfield's largest employer. Under the moniker "Terp Town," the multi-use operation houses priceless plant genetics from three companies, Loudpack, Crockett Family Farms, and DNA Genetics. Loudpack also produces 710 Kingpen, one of the Golden State's most popular vaporizer cartridges.
"Shit got real today," DNA Genetics commented on an Instagram post from fellow California cannabis company, Jungle Boys. "That fire ripped through five of the eight greenhouses in ten minutes. Sad day for everyone on the site."
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Thankfully, the fire started after most of the site's employees had left for the day, and all remaining workers were able to quickly evacuate to safety. According to initial fire department reports, the greenhouses were equipped with fire alarms, but did not have sprinklers or any other fire suppression system.
Despite the immense amounts of damage caused by the wayward blaze, Loudpack representatives told MERRY JANE that the company will quickly rise from the ashes, with employees already returning to work less than 48 hours after the fire was finally tamed.
"As we head back to work today after the unexpected fires at our Greenfield facility yesterday, we want to take a moment to thank the Greenfield Fire Department again for their incredible efforts in getting the fire under control so quickly," Loudpack representative Jessica Sutton told MERRY JANE by email. "Luckily, the manufacturing and processing facilities were not affected so we are able to maintain our regular production."
As for the cause of the fire, both Loudpack and the local Greenfield Fire Department are still trying to sort that out, with first responders saying that early indications suggest the blaze started outside of the greenhouses, quickly bolstered by the summer heat and steady winds.
Last year, as thousands of cannabis growers were getting set to harvest their outdoor pot crops, a series of wildfires ravaged Sonoma and Napa counties, carrying waves of destruction across a number of licensed and unlicensed cannabis plots. Currently, Greenfield firefighters are investigating the Loudpack fire to find out if the blaze was caused by wildfire, faulty equipment, or another factor entirely.
Despite the devastating loss, Loudpack spokespeople have indicated that none of the companies nearly 300 employees will face layoffs or unemployment as a result of the fire.
"We will be putting our focus toward rebuilding the damaged property in the coming weeks," Sutton told MERRY JANE. "[We] thank the community for its continued support."
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