Thomas Creek wildfire near Penticton could be under control soon | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Thomas Creek wildfire near Penticton could be under control soon

Transport aircraft are among the many tools the Canadian Armed Forces are able to assist BC Wildfire Service with.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/BC Wildfire Service
August 23, 2021 - 11:24 AM

The Thomas Creek wildfire between Penticton and Okanagan Falls, which was discovered on July 11, may have its classification downgraded from out of control to held as early as today.

In an update from this morning, Aug. 23, BC Wildfire Service said Thomas Creek is currently stalled with little to minimal growth, though it is still classified as out of control.

However, fire information officer Luke Robinson said crews in the Okanagan complex are evaluating the situation, and wildfire could have its status downgraded to held “as soon as tomorrow, possibly even today.”

Most of Thomas Creek is in the mop-up phase, except for one are along the northern edge which is contained and under modified response. Crews have surrounded the area and are monitoring the fire’s activity, but it sits on challenging terrain that is not safe to access.

Thomas Creek is estimated at 10,597 hectares. Dedicated to the response today are 33 firefighters including 18 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, 34 support staff, 20 pieces of heavy equipment and two helicopters.

Some of the armed forces members normally assigned to Thomas Creek have been sent to the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire near Oliver and Osoyoos, as the 98 Mexican firefighters are taking a break today.

READ MORE: Military personnel swapping out after battling Interior wildfires

The Nk’Mip fire also saw benign behaviour over the weekend, Robinson said. Its perimeter is an estimated 20,066 hectares, and fighting the flames are 103 firefighters including 35 Canadian Armed Forces members, structural protection equipment in the Mt. Baldy area, 34 support staff, 21 pieces of heavy equipment and five helicopters.

But despite the benign fire behaviour and cooling weather trend in the short term, Robinson said it’s not safe to assume the worst is over yet.

“We don’t know long-term forecast,” he said. “Weather is a funny thing.”

READ MORE: Rain, cooler temperatures offer slight relief in B.C. wildfire fight

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are assisting the BC Wildfire Service during this year's wildfire season.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are assisting the BC Wildfire Service during this year's wildfire season.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/BC Wildfire Service

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