Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m.

A majority of air support is still grounded in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

“It’s all come down to safety, if it isn’t safe to go they won’t, but if they do get an opportunity they certainly will go in to help,” said Shelley Zupp, information officer with BC Wildfire Service.

Crews will continue to extinguish wildfires from the ground and will be driven onto scene instead of flown in until the smoke dissipates.

Original Aug. 18 7:44 p.m.

—Andrea DeMeer

Heavy smoke throughout the region thwarted efforts of BC Wildfire Saturday, as helicopters and air tankers were grounded in the Kamloops Fire Centre.

“It does present quite a few challenges,” said Marla Catherall, fire information officer. “It’s definitely not ideal.”

When visibility is poor aircraft cannot assist in suppression efforts, said Catherall. Pilots are also unable to conduct surveillance and spot fires.

“If we don’t have eyes in the sky, we can’t detect the new ones.”

Compounding that issue, people on the ground have no clear view.

Related: Heroes in the sky – fighting BC wildfires from the air

“We really rely on the public to report fires,” said Catherall. “If you can’t see across the street you can’t see a fire.”

The Kamloops Fire Centre has 25 helicopters under contract, and there are currently 58 wildfires in the region.

Catherall could not confirm there was zero air activity in the region Saturday but said: “there was very minimal flying.”

Related: Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

CSRD wants immediate Provincial action to fund Newsome Creek study

Erosion along the creek is causing hazardous situation for residents

Revelstoke couple convert 9/11 ambulance into a traveling home

They plan to drive it to Mexico and beyond

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organisation provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

CSRD wants immediate Provincial action to fund Newsome Creek study

Erosion along the creek is causing hazardous situation for residents

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Most Read