The Skaha Lake boat launch on the Penticton side can remain open while the OK Falls boat launch has been closed to allow BC Wildfire to use the water there. (City photo)

The Skaha Lake boat launch on the Penticton side can remain open while the OK Falls boat launch has been closed to allow BC Wildfire to use the water there. (City photo)

Skaha Lake boat launches on Penticton-side can remain open for now

BC Wildfire requested that OK Falls boat launch be closed to fight the Thomas Creek fire

The Penticton boat launch on Skaha Lake can remain open for now, said the BC Wildfire Service.

Last night, on request from BC Wildfire, the RDOS closed the OK Falls boat launch to allow skimmers and helicopters proper access to the water of Skaha Lake.

Already on Tuesday, BC Wildfire was urging boaters to not be in the area where their skimmers were landing as they need a wide area to safely come in and take off again.

There are four helicopters bucketing for water in Skaha Lake today. Two of the helicopters went to help out the Brenda Creek fire.

There have been reports on social media of boaters coming in way too close to the areas BC Wildfire was working on Skaha Lake, making it unsafe for the skimmer planes to land. RCMP had to deploy its boat on Skaha Lake on Monday.

It’s not known if any tickets were handed out.

On Wednesday night, RDOS closed the OK Falls boat launch until further notice.

It was closed in response to a request from BC Wildfire, specific to that location and triggered by circumstances at that location.

“At this time, no similar request has been made to the city concerning boat launch facilities at the north end of the lake,” confirmed Pentiction communications manager Philip Cooper.

The Thomas Creek fire exploded in size Wednesday to spreading over 5,000 hectares. The fire is moving east and so far no home are being threatened.

However, 704 properties remain under evacuation alert.

READ MORE: Thomas Creek fire increases thousands of hectares in one day

READ MORE: OK Falls boat launch closed to let BC Wildfire work

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