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BC winemakers urging people to help wineries affected by California wildfires

Smoke rises from a wildfire on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017 near Calistoga, Calif. The wildfires tearing through California wine country flared anew Wednesday, growing in size and number as authorities issued new evacuation orders and announced that hundreds more homes and businesses had been lost. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Winemakers in BC are joining forces to help their counterparts in wildfire-ravaged California.

“A lot of the grapes had been harvested already,” says Miles Prodan with the BC Wine Institute.

He tells us an unseasonably warm summer helped push up the California wine harvest, which is helping to mitigate some of the damage from the wildfires.

Prodan doesn’t see the fires causing a shortage of California wines in the marketplace.

“We’ve got lots of California wine on the shelves and I suspect that it will not have impacted the actually supply. It’s just the people, place[s], and animals that are impacted, [that are] devastated today.”

Prodan points out there are deep connections between the wine industry in this province and the one in California. He is encouraging his members as well as the public to donate to the affected wineries, much like California helped us back in 2003.

“2003 was when we had the Okanagan fires, if you recall. It was time for people getting out to help evacuate the wineries… in fact the following year, they helped even produce some of the wine.”

The death toll in the California wildfires has risen to 24, with thousands of homes and businesses destroyed.