This photo was captured from Herder Winery and Vineyards Thursday evening after a wildfire started in the Upper Bench Road area in Keremeos. The blaze grew to 16.5 HA in size overnight but no homes were being threatened. As of Friday morning the fire was 50 per cent contained.
As evacuees from Sunday’s Peachland fire were given the green light to return home firefighters were battling a new wildfire which erupted in Keremeos Thursday night.
The Wildfire Management Branch is working with the Keremeos Fire Department to contain the blaze which is burning in an area of
As of Friday size of the fire was estimated at 16.5 HA and was about 50 per cent contained.
Keremeos Fire Chief Jordy Bosscha said when 15 firefighters responded to the scene just after the fire was about an acre in size but was being fuelled by moderate winds from the west.
Resources on site include 22 firefighters, one dozer and one water truck.
The fire is burning in grass and sage and displaying aggressive surface fire behaviour.
Bosscha said Keremeos crews had left the scene between and but remain on standby in case the fire picks up.
For the owners of Herder Winery and Vineyard on
“We got about two hours of sleep last night,” said Lawrence Herder, winemaker and co-owner of the winery along with his wife, Sharon. “We’ve been feeding the guys coffee and penne pasta.”
Herder said he’d left for an evening meeting and when he returned, there were fire crews setting up on the property.
The blaze was burning in a grassy area that was bordered on one edge by a rock bluff which sits above their property. Herder said he led firefighters up a deer path which runs up the cliff so they could access the area.
Neighbours brought sprinklers and garden hoses to the property in case they were needed and the Ministry of Forests set up a pump in the driveway.
None of his vineyard had suffered any damage as result of the fire, said Herder.
According to the wildfire branch there are homes near the fire but none are imminently threatened.
Crews on site are working with the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen to assess the need for an evacuation alert for nearby residents.
The fire danger rating remains high in the