Hot, dry windy conditions challenging firefighting efforts on wildfire near Okanagan Falls | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Hot, dry windy conditions challenging firefighting efforts on wildfire near Okanagan Falls

The Thomas Creek wildfire, July 14, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Christine Butler
July 27, 2021 - 3:45 PM

The B.C. Wildfire Service continues to battle a more than 7,000 hectare blaze located near Okanagan Falls and hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to continue.

The Thomas Creek wildfire is roughly 7,279 hectares in size and still classified as out of control. In the last few days, fire behaviour has increased significantly, particularly in the north and northeast sections, according to the B.C. Wildfire Service’s latest update.

“This caused the fire to continue to grow towards the height of land between the Okanagan and the west part of the Kettle River Drainage. While heavy smoke was visible, growth yesterday was not as significant as the day before.

"Crews and equipment will continue to work to the north and east of the fire to create and reinforce guard lines using existing roads, old fire guards and other natural features. This is being done in an effort to get ahead of the fire in the north and northeast sections,” according to the service.

The hot, windy and dry conditions are expected to continue to challenge fire suppression efforts, according to the service.

Crews have now secured the 201 Forest Service Road to the 13-kilometre mark which provides safe access for crews and equipment. Fire crews aim to gradually widen the safety area along the road in the next few days but may be hampered by increased wildfire activity.

“Access along the northeast portion of the 201 road was challenged again yesterday due to heightened fire activity,” according to the wildfire service.

The wildfire service will see 90 military personnel assisting with the fire as early as Wednesday morning.

The fire is classified as out of control and an evacuation alert remains in effect for more than 700 properties in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.


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