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)

Planned ignition successful on Thomas Creek wildfire near Penticton

The planned ignition burned off 600 hectares on Friday

Penticton residents who might be concerned about a giant plume of smoke seen rising from the area of the Thomas Creek wildfire, Friday morning, need not worry, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Crews executed a planned ignition at 11 a.m. on the blaze.

According to BC Wildfire, winds were in favour to burn off fuel on a guard line in the Derenzy Lake area.

About 600 hectares were successfully burned using a helicopter thanks to slightly different winds and lower temperatures which provided the right conditions.

READ MORE: Evacuation alerts rescinded for some properties affected by Nk’Mip Creek wildfire

This burn was larger than a normal handheld drip touch burn off where crews walk in a safe zone around the fire to reinforce the guard line.

As the mission was successful it allowed crews to build a guard line on the north and northwest side of the blaze, which was seeing increased fire behaviour in the last couple of days.

The Thomas Creek wildfire remains at an estimated 10,280.0 hectares, however, BC Wildfire expects the size to be larger due to consistent growth on the north side.

The blaze is burning towards Allendale Lake and is considered quite active. Crews are protecting cabins in this area.

For Thursday, crews worked in the 201 Road area where they saw the blaze burn back onto itself.

On-site for Friday there are 42 firefighters, 10 dangerous tree fallers, 34 support staff, 39 military personnel, three helicopters and 21 pieces of heavy equipment.

READ MORE: Aerial ignitions planned for Garrison Lake wildfire south of Princeton


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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B.C. Wildfires 2021Okanagan