Large scale planned ignition to be used today on Doctor Creek fire

BC Wildfire Service photo

The BC Wildfire Service is preparing to conduct a larger-scale planned ignition on the Doctor Creek wildfire to help support crews gain containment on the southeast perimeter of the fire. The planned ignition will begin as early as noon today. A column of smoke will be visible in the area.

The southeast flank of the fire remains very active. Due to steep terrain, heavy equipment has been unable to operate in this area and local wind patterns have limited direct attack. The planned ignition will bring the fire’s edge down to pre-determined boundaries where crews will be able to safely deliver water to the fire’s edge. Today’s ignition will tie into the smaller-scale ignition that was successfully completed yesterday afternoon.

Crews have established containment lines along the south, southeast and southwest flanks of the fire in preparation for the planned ignition. Heavy equipment control lines and hand guard on the south flank have been tied into steep rocky terrain on the east flank where helicopters have been delivering fire retardant. To the west, the southern control line ties into a natural fuel break.

Most of the aerial ignitions will be completed using Plastic Sphere Dispensers (PSD). PSDs are mounted to helicopters to accurately deploy golf-ball sized polystyrene spheres onto the landscape. The polystyrene spheres are partially filled with potassium permanganate crystals.

As the spheres are deployed from the helicopter tiny pins inject the spheres with small amounts of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) and water. Once deployed, the chemicals react in such a way to gently combust shortly after the spheres reach the ground. Additional helicopters will be utilized for water and fire retardant delivery to help secure control lines. Crews will use hand ignitions to clean up the fire’s edge once the fire is brought down to pre-determined boundaries.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cell phone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, call 1-888-3-FOREST or visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.

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