Thomas Creek wildfire near Okanagan Falls balloons to 5,000 hectares

Thomas Creek wildfire as seen at night. The fire, above OK Falls has grown to 1,100 ha. (Mike Biden)
Photos of the scorched earth of the Thomas Creek fire. (Mike Biden photos)
Mike Biden photos of the Thomas Creek fire.

UPDATE: 8:52 p.m.

The Thomas Creek Wildfire is now over 5,000 hectares in size.

The size increase is due to extreme heat and winds, said BC Wildfire Services.

Four personnel and two water tenders will remain fighting the fire Wednesday.

Ground personnel will continue to work on the west flank of the fire closest to homes and are assisted by heavy equipment to establish and reinforce fire guards. Planned ignitions between the fire guard and the fire perimeter will help eliminate available fuels.

The fire had initially been producing heavy smoke that made accurate mapping difficult, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Some residents near Gallagher Lake said they could see flames from the fire Tuesday night.

Smoke is blanketing Penticton, Oliver and Summerland.

A video seen below shows just how smoky OK Falls is Wednesday.

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ORIGINAL:

The Thomas Creek Wildfire is now over 1,500 hectares in size.

The size increase is attributed to more accurate mapping Tuesday evening as visibility increased, said BC Wildfire Services.

Four personnel and two water tenders will remain fighting the fire Wednesday.

Ground personnel will continue to work on the west flank of the fire closest to homes and are assisted by heavy equipment to establish and reinforce fire guards. Planned ignitions between the fire guard and the fire perimeter will help eliminate available fuels.

The fire had initially been producing heavy smoke that made accurate mapping difficult, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Some residents near Gallagher Lake said they could see flames from the fire Tuesday night.

Smoke is blanketing Penticton, Oliver and Summerland.

A video seen below shows just how smoky OK Falls is Wednesday.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Thomas Creek wildfire now at 900 hectares; evacuation order rescinded

Currently, over 700 properties in and around Okanagan Falls are under an evacuation alert issued by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

The RDOS had rescinded their earlier July 11 order of evacuation for 77 properties, and included them in the current alert.

Six helicopters and skimmers will continue to use Skaha Lake and are urging boaters to stay away.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

VIDEO: No new growth overnight, as fire crews work tirelessly on Thomas Creek fire

The fire was initially reported at 0.5 hectares when it was first spotted Sunday.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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