BCWS conducting planned ignition on Connell Ridge
The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) this morning reported it is expecting to be able to start a planned ignition operation on the Connell Ridge wildfire as early as 11 a.m. today (August 10).
“Ground crews and helicopter bucketing support are prepared to support the ignition operation, which will be conducted by a a heli-torch. A heli-torch is an attachment that will be suspended from a helicopter with a fuel source that the pilot can control. Under direction of the ignition specialist, the pilot will control the torch direction and intensity and ignite fuels in the predetermined ignition area,” the BCWS outlined.
“During the ignition operations, ground crews and the ignition specialist will be constantly observing on-site weather, wind direction and wind speed. If conditions on-site change at any point this morning, the ignition operation will not proceed today.”
The operation means there will be an increase in smoke visible, BCWS added.
Crews and heavy equipment operators are continuing to construct additional guard lines around the perimeter in order to be prepared should the fire cross the completed containment lines.
The lightning-caused Connell Ridge wildfire ignited August 1 and is today an estimated 1,350 hectares.
Supporting today’s operation are 65 firefighters, 24 pieces of heavy equipment and a dozen helicopters, currently seen and heard flying over Cranbrook and heading south.
An Evacuation Alert has been issued by the Regional District of East Kootenay in the vicinity of this fire. More information is available online: Click Here.
An Area Restriction is in effect for this incident in order to protect the public in areas where ongoing fire suppression activities are taking place. Full information including a map of the affected area is available: Click Here.
Lead image: A view of the Connell Ridge wildfire taken August 8. BC Wildfire Service photo