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UPDATE: OK Falls wildfire grows to over 100 ha

The huge plume of smoke is visible around Penticton Sunday afternoon

Update: 7:05 p.m.

The fire 1.5 kilometres of Skaha Lake, above OK Falls, has grown to over 100 hectares and is believed to be human-caused, said BC Wildfire Services in their latest update.

More than five air tankers are battling the fire this evening. The large mushroom cloud of white smoke doesn’t appear to have grown since 5:30 p.m. A woman out boating on Skaha Lake took pictures of how the fire is coming to close to estate homes but no evacuation alerts have been issued.

The RDOS has not updated any information since 4 p.m. where they said they have opened their emergency operations centre and will be monitoring the fire.

Update: 3:35

BC Wildfire has closed off McLean Creek Road while battling the ‘out of control’ wildfire that erupted above OK Falls Sunday afternoon.

Eastside Road is also closed at McLean Creek Road and Maples. RDOS has activated its emergency operations centre and is monitoring the fire closely.

BC Wildfire Service has been hammering the fire with water and retardant all afternoon. The fire is located 1.5 kilometres east of Skaha Lake. This incident is estimated at 20 ha and is classified as out of control. There are seven BC Wildfire personnel on scene with assistance from air tankers and two helicopters.

Sunday: 2:30 p.m.

A large plume of smoke can be seen billowing above OK Falls Sunday afternoon. The new wildfire erupted around 2:15 p.m. and is visible throughout Penticton and Kaleden.

The fire looks to be coming from up McLean Creek Road in OK Falls. It isn’t known if homes are close to the fire.

According to BC Wildfire Services, the McLean Creek fire is already grown to .50 hectares and its cause is unknown.

Helicopters with water buckets were quick to attack the blaze and are using all the lakes to access water.

Boaters are being asked to stay a far distance from helicopters at work.

The Penticton Western News will update this story as new information becomes available.

A new fire between Cawston and Oliver was listed on the BC Wildfire dashboard Sunday morning and is listed at .2 ha and caused by lightning.

READ MORE: Lightning caused new fire near Oliver

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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