As Central Okanagan residents work to get their lives back to normal following the devastation left in the wake of the McDougall Creek wildfire, local businesses tell stories of rallying to help one another and get back on their feet.
Happy Singh and his family run a fruit stand along West Kelowna. It was empty Friday morning.
"We are down 90 per cent," said Singh, as he stood in the empty stand on McDougall Road.
Up the street at the Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery, the staff have turned the space into an impromptu evacuation site for staff and industry colleagues.
"If you have to be evacuated this is a pretty good place to be," said winery employee Jesse Hearnden.
Emily Scott-Wylde tells Castanet she couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the fire breach the mountaintop, "we just watched the fire barrel over the mountain behind us here," as she helped evacuees get settled at the winery's accommodation.
The wildfire ripped into West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan at the worst possible time, right in the middle of the busiest part of the tourism season. This is also harvest time for grapes and other BC tree fruits.
"It has been a struggle to figure out and adapt, how to move forward and still be able to welcome people here at the winery," says Scott-Wylde.
Hearnden says the fires will no doubt impact the fruit at some vineyards.
"So a lot of the conversations are about making either really lightly skinned contacted reds or even more rosé or whites out of red grapes. Those are some of the conversations I've been hearing going around."
No one really knows what's going to happen to tourists either, "we're kind of assuming it's gonna go to non-high season numbers," said Hearnden
"We're really excited to get the Modest Butcher back open because it's been a local favourite since we opened and we're kind of expecting that the locals will show up and eat and drink with reckless abandon as usual," he added.
Niche Wine Company co-owner Joanna Schlosser spoke this week about the support her family received when the Bartley Road winery was threatened by the fire.
“If people are looking for a way to help, I just feel like I can't hammer this message home enough, is buy B.C. It doesn't need to be wine. Just buy B.C., shop local, shop small," Schlosser said.
“Those purchases have such a huge impact. Our wine shop is closed at the moment because we have no access to anything. But there's lots of wineries out there with online shops open.”
Other businesses and wineries have been helping out any way they can. Quails' Gate winery made over 600 dinners for firefighters and emergency responders and shipped whatever was left over to emergency support services to try and help the community.