UPDATE: Skaha Creek fire grows to 100 hectares

Randy Kirkoski took this photo of the new Skaha Creek wildfire near Penticton.Randy Kirkoski took this photo of the new Skaha Creek wildfire near Penticton.
Skaha Creek fire at night above Holiday Hills RV park taken Saturday night, Aug. 28. (Corinne Wheeler Markus Facebook)Skaha Creek fire at night above Holiday Hills RV park taken Saturday night, Aug. 28. (Corinne Wheeler Markus Facebook)
This is the Skaha Creek fire as seen on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 29 from BC Wildfire. (BC Wildfire)This is the Skaha Creek fire as seen on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 29 from BC Wildfire. (BC Wildfire)
Winds have picked up, growing the spread of the Skaha Creek fire Sunday afternoon. This picture was taken at 2:45 p.m. (Brennan Phillips Western News)Winds have picked up, growing the spread of the Skaha Creek fire Sunday afternoon. This picture was taken at 2:45 p.m. (Brennan Phillips Western News)
The Skaha Creek fire Sunday night, Aug. 30. (Brennan Phillips/Penticton Western News)
The Skaha Creek fire Sunday night, Aug. 30. (Brennan Phillips/Penticton Western News)
The Skaha Creek fire Sunday night, Aug. 30, at approximately 8:10 p.m. (Brennan Phillips/Penticton Western News)
The Skaha Creek fire Sunday night, Aug. 30, at Walmart. (Monique Tamminga/Penticton Western News)
The Skaha Creek fire Sunday night, Aug. 30, at approximately 8:19 p.m. (Brennan Phillips/Penticton Western News)

Update: 9:03 p.m.

The Skaha Creek fire is now 100 hectares, according to a tweet by BC Wildfire.

Structures remain unaffected at this time, but flames are visible from Penticton, Highway 97 and surroundng communities. Fire activity is expected to reduce over the course of the night, according to BC Wildfire.

Update: 8:08 p.m.

The Skaha Creek fire is spreading quickly and is now approximately 73 hectares, said BC Wildfire.

Multiple skimmers and airtankers supported ground crews today in their direct attack efforts along the east flank fo the fire. Heavy equipment was moved to the west flank of the fire to support with guard construction. Personnel will be on site overnight to monitor the fire and no structures are threatened at this time.

The fire will be managed by the incident management team managing the Okanagan Complex fires starting tomorrow. Resources will be shared among the complex to support suppression efforts on this fire, including 13 firefighters from Mexico who will be moved from the Thomas Creek wildfire to the Skaha Creek wildfire tomorrow.

The wildfire sparked on Saturday, Aug. 29 six kilometres southwest of Penticton and on top of the hills above the airport. The fire is still classified as Out of Control.

Update: 7:43 p.m

The Skaha Creek fire has crested the hill and can now be seen from Westbench.

The wildfire sparked on Saturday, Aug. 29 six kilometres southwest of Penticton and on top of the hills above the airport. It is visible from most parts of Penticton and can be seen billowing smoke.

The fire is classified as Out of Control and is suspected to be human caused. The fire is approximately 45 hectares according to BC Wildfire.

Update: 6:46 p.m.

The Skaha Creek fire has grown in size to 45 hectares, according to the BC Wildfire Sunday evening.

The wildfire sparked on Saturday, Aug. 29 six kilometres southwest of Penticton and on top of the hills above the airport. It is visble from most parts of Penticton and can be seen billowing smoke.

The fire is classified as Out of Control and is suspected to be human caused.

Update: 3:15 p.m.

Winds have picked up and the Skaha Creek fire has grown in size to 25 hectares, confirmed BC Wildfire Sunday afternoon.

The wildfire sparked Saturday afternoon six kilometres southwest of Penticton and on top of the hills above the airport. It is now visible from most parts of Penticton and currently trees can be seen candling at the top of the hill with smoke billowing from the fire.

Update: 1 p.m.

Although the Skaha Creek Wildfire is not a threat to properties within the boundaries of the City of Penticton, the response may affect services at the Penticton Regional Airport as well as recreational boating on Skaha and Okanagan Lakes, said the city of Penticton on Sunday.

Anyone flying in or out of the Penticton Regional Airport over the next few days is advised to check yyf.penticton.ca for current flight information.

Recreational boaters on Skaha and Okanagan Lakes are also asked to stay close to shore to allow skimmers amd helicopters to collect lake water to fight the fire.

The Penticton Indian Band and Westhills Aggregates are also supporting the response and improving road conditions to allow crews and equipment better access to the fire site.

The Band would like to remind the public to avoid areas and roadways close to the fire as it puts responders and the community at risk.

According to BC Wildfire information officer Taylor McDonald, the community could see more smoke in the afternoon as the temperatures are heating up.

“We have six skimmers providing cooling action at the fire retardant line, 20 BC wildfire crews on the ground and one piece of heavy equipment,” said McDonald on Sunday.

The fire didn’t see any growth overnight thanks to the cooler temperatures, she added.

As of Sunday afternoon, the fire remained at 17 hecatres and classified as out of control.

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The smell of smoke permeated the air and an orange glow could be seen in the hills behind the Penticton Airport Saturday night from the new Skaha Creek wildfire near Penticton.

The Skaha Creek wildfire was last listed at 17 hectares in size. There were 23 BC Wildfire ground crew who responded to the fire. Skimmers and airtankers made good progress cooling the fire and dropping retardant along its flanks, said BC Wildfire Saturday night.

In the space of six hours the fire, located about six kilometres southwest of Penticton in the hills behind the Penticton Airport, has grown to 17 hectares in size.

The cause of the fire is suspected to be human caused.

A reminder to all boaters to remain clear of all water skimming aircraft so these resources can safely pick up water on Okanagan Lake.

The Western News will update information about this fire as soon as it becomes available.

READ MORE: Skaha Creek fire quickly grows to 17 hectares

B.C. Wildfires 2021