Wildfires in the West Kootenay. Map: BC Wildfire Service/Nelson Star

Wildfires in the West Kootenay. Map: BC Wildfire Service/Nelson Star

Aerial ignitions planned at the Lower Arrow Lake wildfires

Planned burns will take place Aug. 12 or 13

The BC Wildfire Service is preparing to conduct planned aerial ignitions on the Octopus Creek and Michaud Creek wildfires between Thursday and Friday, according to a news release.

Smoke will be visible from Edgewood, Fauquier, Highway 6, Applegrove, the Needles Ferry and surrounding areas.

The exact timing of the planned ignitions will depend on weather and site conditions but could begin as early as Thursday.

“The purpose of the planned ignition is to reduce the available fuel between the fire and the established control lines,” the news release states. “Bringing the fire perimeter to this area further secures these lines, creates safer and easier access for ground crews, and greatly reduces the amount of fuel the fires can access naturally, in a closely monitored environment.”

Ground crews, heavy equipment and aerial support will be on-site to support the operation.

The news release explains that aerial ignitions use plastic sphere dispensers (PSDs) and heli-torches. The PSD is mounted to a helicopter and accurately deploys golf-ball-sized plastic spheres onto the landscape. Through a chemical reaction, the spheres ignite shortly after they reach the forest floor.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca.

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