Vineyard crews fight fire

UPDATE 5:40 p.m.

Vineyard workers north of Osoyoos assisted the Oliver fire department in knocking down a large brush fire on the Black Sage Bench.

Senior mechanic with Mission Hill wines David Miller said a fellow employee at the vineyard is a volunteer with the local fire department and received the call early.

“The fire chief was asking for absolutely as much help as possible,” Miller said, explaining the vineyard crews jumped into action with hoses and irrigation equipment.

“Our properties were at risk if it were to jump the barrier,” he added.

Oliver Fire Department spokesman Rob Graham said the vineyard crews were a help, using a tractor with a sprayer to wet down the area.

He says the origin of the fire has been pinpointed to the side of Black Sage Road, although it's too early to determine a cause. The blaze is now fully contained.

UPDATE 4:37 p.m.

A BC Wildfire spokesperson has confirmed the fire is not fully out.

The latest size estimate she provided was two hectares. 

BC Wildfire is still on the scene assisting the Oliver Fire Department.

UPDATE 3:55 p.m.

BC Wildfire has tweeted that the fire is in the local fire department's jurisdiction. 

They confirmed they are assisting with seven personnel, one helicopter and airtankers. 

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.

A member of the Osoyoos Loop Facebook page said from where he is, it appears the fire is out. 

His business, Bartier Bros Winery, is across the road from the brush fire.

Castanet is awaiting more details and confirmation of the fire's status from BC Wildfire. 

UPDATE 3:10 p.m.

The fire is burning east of Black Sage Road near the Oliver landfill, reports the Oliver Daily News. 

The blaze briefly knocked out power to over 3,000 people on the west side of Osoyoos Lake, according to FortisBC, although electricity has now been restored. 

ORIGINAL 2:45 p.m.

The B.C. Wildfire Service is responding to a new fire start north of Osoyoos Lake.

Details are limited at this point, but pictures sent to Castanet show the fire in the Black Sage Bench winemaking area, north of the town of Osoyoos.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says they are mobilizing and will be releasing more information shortly.

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