The Connell Ridge wildfire south of Cranbrook is listed at 1,350 hectares as of Tuesday afternoon (Aug 9) and BC Wildfire says that there are plans in the works for a potential planned ignition.
In an update, the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) explained that crews have been working with heavy equipment operators and industry partners to actively build containment lines around the fire.
“The purpose of building containment lines is to define a fuel-free barrier for planned ignition operations to run,” said BC Wildfire Service’s update. “Planned ignition operations are conducted under particular conditions, allowing for greater control over the intensity and scale of the fire behaviour. Where operationally feasible, planned ignitions are one of the most effective suppression tactics.”
BCWS adds that during a wildfire, operations staff work to determine the safest, most effective areas where heavy equipment and ground crews can build control lines. They look at terrain, resources, environmental impact, weather and predicted fire behaviour in order to do so.
Planned ignitions for the Connell Ridge fire could begin as early as the coming weekend, says BCWS, and if they do proceed, there will be an increase in smoke during the process.
Updates will continue to be provided and the public will be notified before ignition operations begin.