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Posted: July 24, 2021

Planned ignition set for Bill Nye Mountain fire

The BC Wildfire Service will undertake a planned ignition on the Bill Nye Mountain fire to reduce forest fuel ahead of the fire to reduce the fire behaviour and support crew efforts to bring the fire under control.

The Bill Nye Mountain fire is approximately 19 kilometres northeast of Cranbrook. Smoke may be visible from Cranbrook, Kimberley and to motorists travelling along Highway 93/95 and 95A.

The exact timing of this burn will depend on weather and site conditions, but it could begin as early as Sunday July 25.  Burning will proceed only if conditions are suitable to control the fire while achieving the goal of removing sufficient fuels to slow the fire’s growth and limit its spread.

Planned ignitions are undertaken by trained and experienced personnel to remove the majority of available fuel ahead of the wildfire so there’s less fuel available for the wildfire to burn. The BC Wildfire Service has implemented safety protocols and strategies while conducting its operations to minimize the risk of the planed ignition growing beyond the intended area.

The first priority with these operations is always safety. 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.

Given the aggressive behaviour that we’ve seen on many wildfires, there is a potential for escaped fires, but that potential would also exist if the BC Wildfire Service did not conduct these planned ignitions.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 tollfree 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.

Lead image: A view of the Bill Nye Mountain wildfire, taken last week, from the Cranbrook Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations offices. Photo courtesy Shari Green

BC Wildfire Service

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