Ignition operations continue for the Battleship Mountain wildfire

HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. — According to the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS), the Battleship Mountain wildfire is now 12,127 hectares, and ignition operations are expected to continue.

The ignition operation could commence in the coming days as conditions allow.

On Thursday, operations staff completed the initial part of the ignition operation on the south flank of the fire near Carbon Creek.

The operation was enacted due to the aggressive fire behaviour observed and, according to the BC Wildfire Service, was successful in preventing the fire from growing over the Johnson Forest Service Road.

The ignition operation that could occur as early as today could be up to 3,000 hectares large, but the service says it is a critical way to secure the fire’s south flank.

The BC Wildfire Service adds that additional smoke will be highly visible in nearby communities due to the ignition operation.

Tenders and engine crews are also providing ground support for the controlled ignition as needed.

The service reports that a small area of ‘slopover’ did occur on the Johnson Forest Service Road. This means an edge of the fire crossed a control line or a natural barrier intended to contain the fire.

The service says crews will be actioning this area when possible.

BCWS says ground crews will support the ignition operation between Carbon Creek and Carbon lake with hand ignitions to tie into control lines and with hose lay.

Line locators are also working to identify suitable containment lines on the fire’s northeast flank between Mount Gething and Table Creek.

Personnel are reportedly working closely with BC Hydro to familiarize themselves with the WAC Bennett Dam.

Along the Johnson Creek Forest Service Road, northeast of Carbon Lake, two unit crews are working to create fuel-free zones on the fire’s east flank by removing all the fuel down to mineral soil.

Over the weekend, temperatures are forecasted to increase again, and no measurable amount of precipitation is expected, which BCWS says may increase wildfire behaviour.

The Battleship Mountain wildfire is still classified as ‘out of control.’

As of Friday afternoon, there are 76 firefighters, 28 structure protection personnel, 12 pieces of heavy equipment and nine additional support staff working with the equipment on the scene of this fire.

Additionally, 12 helicopters are being shared between the fires of the Battleship Complex as needed.

There is still an evacuation order in the direct vicinity of the wildfire and an alert in the Hudson’s Hope area from both the PRRD and the District of Hudson’s Hope.

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