Planned ignitions on the Octopus Creek and Michaud Creek wildfires adjacent to Arrow Lake will be taking place as soon as Thursday, July 29.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Octopus Creek fire had reached almost 17,000 hectares and the Michaud Creek fire had reached 7312 hectares. Nearby, the Renata Creek fire has now burned 2600 hectares.
The BC Wildfire Service says the goal of the ignitions is to remove unburned fuel in the fire’s path, helping to limit the fire’s growth and spread.
The planned ignition for the Octopus Creek wildfire will be to re-direct the wildfire upslope and away from the community of Fauquier.
Crews will also use planned ignitions to reinforce control lines by removing unburnt fuel between the control line and the advancing fire. Increased smoke from this action may be visible from Fauquier, along Arrow Lake and Highway 6 .
The exact timing of this burn will depend on weather and site conditions. Burning will proceed only if conditions are suitable.
Due to steep and unstable terrain in this area, BCWS personnel have determined that a planned ignition is the most favourable tactic to gain control and maintain an appropriate safety margin for firefighters while achieving the goal of removing fuel that lies between containment lines and the advancing fire.
Highly trained BCWS personnel will use hand torches to carry out the planned ignition on the site, and helicopters will bucket to cool parts of the fire as required to meet objectives.
Evacuation alerts, orders and area restrictions remain in place surrounding these fires. The most updated evacuation information can be found at RDCK.ca.