The Thomas Creek fire seen from Kaleden. (Brennan Phillips Western News)

The Thomas Creek fire seen from Kaleden. (Brennan Phillips Western News)

Thomas Creek fire grows to more than 6,500 hectares

An incident management team has been called in to take over

The Thomas Creek fire had grown over 1,000 hectares in one day Sunday morning, said BC Wildfire Services.

The wildfire that started above Okanagan Falls on July 11, is now at 6,558 hectares and is still classified as out of control as of Tuesday.

“The change in size is attributed to some growth at the head of the fire yesterday (July 18),” said BC Wildfire. The start of the fire was near McLean Creek Road.

The fire behaviour observed Sunday was low to moderately vigorous surface fire. Ground crews and heavy equipment continue to work on a contingency guard and are working with crews to contain excursions along 201 Road.

“The protection of life and property along the south flank is the main priority today,” said BC Wildfire Services information officer Mike McCully.

This comes after the fire had shrunk to under 5,500 hectares this weekend.

More than 700 properties remain on evacuation alert.

“We are working on bringing the fire to us on our own terms,” said McCully. “We are trying to put a guard line back behind homes and burn fuel off so we can control it.”

On Sunday, ground crews and equipment are being focused on building a contingency guard and handling any excursions of the fire along 201 Road. An area restriction remains in effect.

BC Wildfire has brought in an incident management team to handle the Thomas and Brenda Creek fires.

Incident management teams consist of groups of highly trained staff and specialists to help with sections of incident commands such as planning, operations, logistics and finance, among others. The team will take some of the pressure off the local fire zone and the local fire centre, allowing both to manage new fires or other fires in the area.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but was originally suspected to be human-caused.

READ MORE: Incident management team takes over Thomas Creek fire

READ MORE; No real growth at Thomas Creek fire

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