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Mission Hill Winery fire considered suspicious

Click to play video: 'Mission Hill Winery fire' Mission Hill Winery fire
A grass fire near Mission Hill Winery caused dozens of residents to be evacuated. Jules Knox reports from the scene – May 27, 2018

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.

Fire investigators from West Kelowna Fire Rescue and the RCMP have worked in cooperation to identify the area of origin and completed their fire cause investigation.

The fire appears to have started off a trail above Boucherie Road.

There were signs of human activities in the area, including campfire pits and garbage/debris.

However, the exact cause of the fire could not be determined.

The fire is considered suspicious and the RCMP will continue to pursue the investigation.

The public is encouraged to contact the RCMP with any information that may help.

Crews from West Kelowna Fire Rescue and the BC Wildfire Service will remain on scene this afternoon, extinguishing the remaining hot spots.

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The public may notice sprinklers and hose lines that have been left in place as well as ongoing firefighting activity in the vicinity.

The public is asked to report any signs of smoke or fire.

UPDATE 11:00 a.m.

The Boucherie Fire was quiet overnight and firefighters continued suppression and mop-up activities.

The estimated size of the fire remains 5 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.

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.

Click to play video: 'Mission Hill fire' Mission Hill fire
Mission Hill fire – May 27, 2018

UPDATE 10:32 p.m.

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“We are making great progress,” West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund told Global News.

Brolund said all evacuees displaced due to the fast moving wildfire below Mission Hill Winery will be allowed to go home at 11 p.m.

The fire will be visible through the night, he said, but will not present a threat to properties or people.

Crews remain at the fire overnight to ensure hot spots are watched.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Evacuations took place early Saturday evening following a grass fire that was fed by strong winds in West Kelowna.

The fire quickly spread to 5 hectares on a rocky, treed and brush covered hillside below Mission Hill Winery around 7 p.m.

Click to play video: 'Grass fires branch off below Mission Hill Winery, threatening homes Saturday evening' Grass fires branch off below Mission Hill Winery, threatening homes Saturday evening
Grass fires branch off below Mission Hill Winery, threatening homes Saturday evening – May 27, 2018

About 50 homes on Gala View and Royal Gala drives were evacuated as was Mission Hill Winery, according to West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund.

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WATCH: Fighting wildfires raging in B.C.

While air support arrived close to 9 p.m., crews determined water drops were no longer necessary, said Brolund.

Click to play video: 'Crews get upper hand on grass fire near Mission Hill Winery' Crews get upper hand on grass fire near Mission Hill Winery
Crews get upper hand on grass fire near Mission Hill Winery – May 27, 2018

About 50 firefighters were on the ground battling the flames at the height of the blaze. Crews from Kelowna, Peachland and the B.C. Wildfire Service assisted West Kelowna firefighters.

As of 9:45 p.m., the evacuations were being reassessed.

Brolund said it looked unlikely that residents would have to stay away from their homes overnight.

READ MORE: Wildfire danger across B.C. growing with more fires flaring up

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While the cause of the blaze is not yet known, there was no lightning in the area at the time.

Crews will remain on site overnight to maintain the perimeter of the blaze, according to Brolund.

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