LEXINGTON — A fire during the evening of Saturday, Nov. 30 destroyed the equipment shed at Mac’s Creek Winery and Brewery, along with several pieces of equipment.
According to one of Mac’s Creek owners and vineyard manager, Seth McFarland, the fire was caused by high winds whipping around power lines which went to the shed. Wind gusts of 55 mph were clocked at the Lexington Airport on Saturday.
McFarland said according to the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department, the power lines began arcing and sparking which then caught the equipment shed on fire.
The building was located on the southwest side of the vineyard property, some distance from the main building.
The building housed all of the equipment which was used in the vineyard, mowers, tractors, sprayers, loaders, etc. Overflow storage was also kept in this building. The building and its contents were completely destroyed by the fire. There were no injuries associated with the fire.
Lexington Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Dahlas Holbein said they were paged at 11:15 p.m. and responded to the fire with four trucks, an ambulance and 25 firefighters. The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Dawson Public Power also responded.
Holbein said the arching power lines hit a tree which caused the fire. He said the LVFD’s primary goals were to keep a propane tank near the blaze cool and shut off the flow of gas to the tank.
The fire had also spread to several poles in the vineyard and was threatening a diesel storage tank which was 50 feet away from the building.
In addition to this, the high winds were blowing embers from the fire well across the road to the south and Holbein said they placed a truck there to ensure the fire did not spread to the neighbors.
The last truck left the scene around 2:30 a.m., the LVFD was on scene for around three hours. Holbein said they knew the fire would have to burn itself out, but the high winds kept them on scene to prevent it from spreading.
“We are glad no one was hurt,” Holbein said.
McFarland said the total amount of damage had not been calculated as of Monday morning.
When asked how this loss of equipment would affect vineyard production in the coming year, McFarland said the consequences at the moment were “hard to say.”
“We will notice the change in logistics,” McFarland said. Of the coming year he said the vineyards will still be pruned, irrigation will still be laid, “we will figure out a way to keep going.”
McFarland said he spoke for all of Mac’s Creek when he expressed his “endless gratitude,” to the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department for their response and containment of the blaze. He also extended his thanks to the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office for responding to the scene and making sure everyone was safe.
There also has been an outpouring of community support, McFarland said, people have been extending their best wishes and offering to help in any way they can.
“We are very appreciative,” McFarland said, “We have a lot to be thankful for, which is appropriate this time of year.”