UPDATE: Grass fire appears under control near Mission Hill winery

Smoke was around West Kelowna as a fire got underway near Mission Hill

The Boucherie fire was quiet overnight and firefighters continued suppression and mop-up activities, while evacuees have returned home.

The estimated size of the fire remains five hectares.

“A fire guard now surrounds the perimeter of the fire. Smoke and flame may be visible and crews from West Kelowna Fire Rescue and the BC Wildfire Service will be working today to put out hot spots within the fire area,” said West Kelwona fire chief Jason Brolund.

“No structures were damaged and there were no injuries reported.”

There are no evacuation orders or evacuation alerts in place.

The investigation into the cause of the fire will be ongoing today, with Fire Investigators on scene this morning.

UPDATE 10 P.M.

BC Wildfire Service is now assisting West Kelowna Fire department with the Mt. Boucherie blaze that started just before 7 p.m. Saturday.

Fire information officer Brenna Ward said the provincial service deployed 10 personnel to assist with suppression. Initially they sent in air support as well, but planes were called off upon arrival due to diminished fire activity.

Ward said the fire is mapped at five hectares and still considered out of control.

UPDATE 9 P.M.

Mission Hill winery and up to 50 homes in the nearby residential area have been evacuated due to a fire on Mt. Boucherie.

“The fire was driven by the wind, as we see on these Okanagan evenings,” said West Kelowna fire chief Jason Brolund, who noted that 30 firegfighters from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Westbank and Peachland were working to knock back hotspots and establish a water perimetre.

“When the wind knocks down we make great progress and when it gets up we’re chasing the fire,” he said.

Brolund said he doesn’t have an estimate of the size of the fire at this time or know what may have caused it.

BC Wildfire Air support has arrived and winds have been varied.

UPDATE: 8:35 P.M.

It looks as though firefighters have gained the upper hand.

The fire is currently burning above Boucherie Road and Pritchard Drive, moving slowly north. Witnesses on the ground say it looks as though firefighters have gained control of the situation, and that at least one department that attended the scene has been released and stay on standby at their department.

UPDATE: 8:35 P.M.

A witness near the fire site is now saying that winds have died down and it appears as though firefighters are making good headway. Flames are less visible than they were earlier.

ORIGINAL

Smoke is rising over West Kelowna as a grass fire near Mission Hill winery burns.

The fire started at around 7 p.m. Saturday, and multiple reports indicate flames can be seen creeping up the hillside.

A witness to the fire said that the fire is growing as wind is picking up and several people living in the area are starting to evacuate their homes, though it does not appear to have been an ordered evacuation.

Fire crews from multiple cities have

been dispatched and BC Wildfire Service has just received information. They will likely be dispatching air crews shortly.

More information to come.

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