One month since Thomas Creek fire started near Okanagan Falls

The Thomas Creek Wildfire is moving steadily northwards into the Christie Mountain area, as seen here on August. 6. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)The Thomas Creek Wildfire is moving steadily northwards into the Christie Mountain area, as seen here on August. 6. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Crews took advantage of favourable winds on Aug. 6 to successfully complete a 300 hectare planned ignition along the northeast flank of the Thomas Creek fire. (BC Wildfire)Crews took advantage of favourable winds on Aug. 6 to successfully complete a 300 hectare planned ignition along the northeast flank of the Thomas Creek fire. (BC Wildfire)
This is taken from Kaleden on the day the Thomas Creek fire started July 11. (Suzy Blesseling Facebook)This is taken from Kaleden on the day the Thomas Creek fire started July 11. (Suzy Blesseling Facebook)

It will officially be one month as of Aug. 11 since the Thomas Creek wildfire started.

On Sunday, July 11, social media lit up with pictures of a huge cloud of smoke billowing above the town of OK Falls.

Pictures taken from Kaleden, across Skaha Lake, showed the new fire was growing at a rapid pace, reminiscent of how the Christie Mountain fire looked back in 2020.

In the following days, more than 700 properties in the Okanagan Falls area were put on evacuation alert as BC Wildfire moved in with air tankers, helicopters and firefighters on the ground attacking the blaze, which started near McClean Road.

Now, the fire, which has spread northeast of OK Falls, has grown again in size to 11,755 hectares as of Aug. 9.

A warm, drying trend has returned to the South Okanagan which means increased fire activity, said BC Wildfire. Temperatures will increase and humidity will decrease over the coming days which means fire behaviour is expected to increase on a daily basis, said BC Wildfire on Aug. 9.

Just last week, 700 OK Falls properties were taken off alert as the fire moved in a northeasterly direction.

Evacuation orders remain in place in the Derenzy Lake and Allendale Lake areas as the fire remains active in this northwest flank area.

The contingent of Canadian Armed Forces personnel working on this fire has increased significantly Aug. 9, which will provide a greater overall compliment of valuable ground crews, said BC Wildfire. These personnel will continue to work on fire suppression in alignment with BC Wildfire service staff.

Favourable winds on Aug. 6, allowed crews to undertake a 300 hectare planned ignition in the Derenzy Lake area. This was critical in reinforcing a guard line in an effort to gain containment on the fire.

READ MORE: Planned ignition of Thomas Creek fire a success

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B.C. Wildfires 2021