Crews work to reinforce fire guards at massive Thomas Creek wildfire – Penticton News

More haze, smoke from fire

Castanet Staff – | Story: 340022

Casey Richardson

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m.

Castanet reporter Casey Richardson offered a live look at the Thomas Creek wildfire Thursday morning. Watch the video above.

The fire is still putting up large plumes of smoke, and the air is filled with settled-in haze that has spread to many nearby communities including Penticton.

BC Wildfire Service has not yet provided an update on size Thursday, but their latest estimate as of Wednesday night is 5,000 hectares.

ORIGINAL: 6:15 a.m.

Four personnel and two water tenders remained on site overnight at the massive Thomas Creek wildfire burning east of Skaha Lake.

As of Wednesday night, ground crews were continuing to work on the west/southwest flank of the fire closest to homes and were assisted by heavy equipment to establish and reinforce fire guards.

The BC Wildfire Service said in an 8:30 p.m. update that planned ignitions between the fire guard and the fire perimeter will help eliminate available fuels.

The fire exploded to an estimated 5,000.0 hectares in size Wednesday and remains out of control.

Hot, dry and windy conditions contributed to its growth.

An area restriction remains in place for the vicinity of the fire, and 704 properties are under evacuation alert.

On Wednesday, 30 firefighters were battling the blaze, along with aerial support from six helicopters, multiple pieces of heavy equipment, Structure Protection Units and the local fire department.

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