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Burns planned to combat Mineral Creek wildfire

The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) will use planned burns to help control the Mineral Creek wildfire about 25 kilometres southwest of Invermere.

BCWS officials said the burns will remove potential fuel from the fire’s path, which will limit its growth and spread.

The burns could start as early as Thursday, but only if conditions are favourable.

According to the BCWS, the planned ignitions will target an approximate 20-hectare area on the northwest corner of the fire to bring it to more workable terrain for crews.

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“Due to steep and unstable terrain in this area, BCWS personnel have determined that a planned ignition is the most favourable tactic to gain control,” said BCWS officials. “Highly trained BCWS personnel will use hand torches to carry out the planned ignition on the site, and helicopters will bucket to cool parts of the fire as required to meet objectives.”

Helicopters will be available to dump buckets of water over the planned burn as needed.

Meanwhile, crews are setting up a wetline, which is a series of strategically placed hoses and sprinklers, along the south side of the fire.

“Ground crews will also be intentionally burning a small amount of fuels on the south flank to additionally reinforce that guard. Work will continue on a hand-built fuel-free guard in the slide chute where it is too steep for machines to operate and retardant will be laid down to reinforce that fuel-free,” said BCWS officials.

As of Thursday morning, the fire is estimated to be 103 hectares in size. 32 firefighters, three pieces of heavy equipment and two helicopters are responding to the fire.

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