Update July 16:
There was no substantial growth on the Thomas Creek Wildfire overnight based on the BC Wildfire update at 8:43 a.m. on July 16.
The fire was still listed at 5,500 hectares and out of control.
BC Wildfire has 30 firefighters on the scene today, along with four helicopters, heavy equipment and members of the local fire department.
As of Thursday evening, July 15, the Thomas Creek wildfire is out of control and has now spread across 5,500 hectares.
A Fire Information Officer from the Kamloops Fire Centre said the fire is suspected to be human caused, but noted the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
3 personnel will be fighting the fire overnight and will continue to focus on the parts of the fire closest to properties.
The wildfire exploded to 5,000 ha from an estimated 1,500 ha in one day Wednesday, July 14.
On Thursday afternoon, the size of the interface fire was still 5,000 ha, which is equivalent to 12,355 acres or 50 square kilometres.
The wildfire does not currently pose an imminent risk to structures but 704 properties remain on evacuation alert, said BC Wildfire Services.
Thirty-three personnel and four helicopters worked in the vicinity of the fire on July 15. Two helicopters working the Thomas Creek fire went to help the Brenda Creek fire.
Planned ignitions between the fireguard and the fire perimeter are ongoing to help eliminate available fuels, said BC Wildfire.
RDOS is asking to avoid the area from Heritage Hills to Skaha Estates, including Eastside Road, McLean Creek Road, Ponderosa Point and Skaha Lake, due to ongoing fire operations. This includes all hiking trails and travelling traffic. An Area Restriction Notice issued by BCWS remains in effect until further notice.
Boaters and pleasure craft operators are reminded to avoid Skaha Lake to allow aircrews to conduct operations involving water tenders safely. The Okanagan Falls boat launch is closed until further notice in order to support BCWS fire suppression efforts.
The city of Penticton just issued a press relase asking boaters to stay off Skaha Lake.
The smell of smoke is very heavy in the air in the South Okanagan on Thursday.
It’s hot and smoky and Environment Canada says that’s likely going to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Wildfire smoke has led to a special air quality statement, which is in effect for the entire Okanagan.
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