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Boaters urged to stay off Skaha Lake as aerial attack continues on Thomas Creek wildfire

Click to play video: 'Residents near the Thomas Creek wildfire  hope for the best, fear the worst' Residents near the Thomas Creek wildfire hope for the best, fear the worst
Some good news for evacuees of the Thomas Creek wildfire in the South Okanagan. The construction of a containment line and wind direction have allowed the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen to rescind the evacuation order for 77 properties near the blaze. As Klaudia Van Emmerik reports, the residents can return home but they remain on an alert and must be ready to flee again if needed. – Jul 12, 2021

Regional district officials are urging boaters to stay away from the east side of Skaha Lake as the aerial attack continues on the out-of-control Thomas Creek wildfire.

Karla Kozakevich, chair of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), said a police boat was deployed to the Penticton-area lake to keep boaters out of the way of skimmers and helicopters scooping water.

Read more: Wildfire evacuation alert rescinded for Becker Lake area east of Vernon, B.C.

“We ask that you please avoid the area from Heritage Hills, Skaha Estates, including Eastside Road, and Skaha Lake, due to ongoing operations,” Kozakevich said on Tuesday.

“Boaters and pleasure craft operators are reminded to avoid Skaha Lake to allow aircrews to conduct operations safely.”

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Becker Lake wildfire east of Vernon, B.C., is considered “being held” – Jul 13, 2021

On Monday afternoon, the RDOS rescinded an evacuation order for 77 properties in the area. More than 700 properties remain under an evacuation alert.

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On Tuesday afternoon, the BC Wildfire Service said the wildfire has grown to 1,100 hectares in size, due to hot and dry conditions, as well as more accurate mapping. Earlier Tuesday, the fire had been listed at 900 hectares.

Read more: Thomas Creek Wildfire: Evacuation order lifted, residents return home east of Skaha Lake

“We have 30 personnel on-site today. They are being assisted by six helicopters as well as heavy equipment and structural protection units,” said fire information officer Aydan Coray.

The RDOS says no structures have been lost to the “volatile” blaze, and no homes are at “imminent threat.”

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B.C. wildfires top 1,000, two-thirds the number of an average year – Jul 12, 2021

The wildfire is burning in a southeast direction, away from populated areas.

All properties under an evacuation alert are asked to register online with the Emergency Support Services (ESS) Evacuee Registration & Assistance (ERA) tool: ess.gov.bc.ca

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If you have pets or livestock that need to be cared for and billeted, please contact Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team (ALERT) for support: 250-809-7152.

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Video of wildfire near Okanagan Falls, B.C – Jul 11, 2021

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