A fire that broke out in Yakima Monday destroyed roughly 4% of hops grown by the U.S. The warehouse that was destroyed was operated by German company S.S. Steiner. Water was sprayed directly onto the hops through holes ripped into the buildings side.
The estimated $3.5-4 million loss was so far unclear as to how it would affect beer manufacturers and prices. The region where the fire occurred produces 18% of the world's hops.
The danger of spontaneous combustion in heated bales of resinous varieties has always been a concern. East Valley Deputy Chief Mike Riel said "That's just a possibility that we'll look at, but it is very high on the list."