Planned ignition for Mineral Creek wildfire
The BC Wildfire Service will undertake a planned ignition on the Mineral Creek wildfire, 25 southwest of Invermere, to remove unburned fuel in the fire’s path, thereby helping to limit the fire’s growth and spread.
This planned ignition will target an area of approximately 20 hectares in the northwest corner of the fire that will bring the fire down to more workable terrain for crews. Increased smoke from this action may be visible from Canal Flats and along Highway 93/95.
The exact timing of this burn will depend on weather and site conditions, but it could begin as early as Thursday, July 29. 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 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.
The first priority with these operations is always safety. The BC Wildfire Service has implemented safety protocols and strategies while conducting its operations to minimize the risk of the planned ignition growing beyond the intended area.
Planned ignitions must provide for the safety of personnel, the public, equipment and nearby values (e.g. homes, infrastructure, natural resources).
The ignition plan must also identify, assess and mitigate potential hazards. Large-scale burn operations are supported with appropriate resources, such as aircraft, heavy equipment and firefighters. This way, if a burn escapes, it can be dealt with right away.
To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
BC Wildfire Service photo