Another 500 hectares of scorched earth had been tacked onto the Thomas Creek wildfire near Okanagan Falls as of Friday afternoon.

That put the total area burned at 5,500 hectares, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

“Over the past few days there have been quite hot and dry conditions, coupled with the wind in the area,” explained BCWS spokeswoman Ayden Coray. “All of those factors together definitely encourage fire growth.”

The service had 30 personnel, four helicopters and multiple pieces of heavy equipment at the scene Friday. Their efforts were focused on building fuel breaks on the west and southwest flanks closest to Okanagan Falls.

No structures have been lost to the fire, which is suspected to be human-caused. It lit up Sunday afternoon in the hills approximately 1.5 kilometres east of Skaha Lake near the midway point of McLean Creek Road.

An evacuation alert has been issued for 704 properties that lie south of the Heritage Hills subdivision down to McLean Creek Road on the northeast edge of Okanagan Falls.