A BC Wildfire helicopter prepares for take off. (Joe Lebeau/Hashmark Photography)

A BC Wildfire helicopter prepares for take off. (Joe Lebeau/Hashmark Photography)

BC Wildfire Service to conduct night vision trials for helicopters in South Okanagan

This technology could assist with future firefighting operations

Trials of equipment that could help suppress wildfires will be conducted near Penticton during the evenings of July 6 and 7.

The BC Wildfire Service will be conducting aerial trials of night vision goggle (NVG) technology to potentially assist with future firefighting operations.

Night vision goggles work by amplifying the available ambient light, making it easier for the wearer to see features that would not otherwise be visible.

These trials will assess the viability of using night vision goggles and helitankers to drop fire suppressant on wildland-urban interface fires at night.

Wildland-urban interface fires are wildfires that occur in areas where grasslands or forests border on urban developments or infrastructure.

READ MORE: Isolation, drug toxicity lead to spike in First Nations overdose deaths amid pandemic: FNHA

BC Wildfire Service is conducting the tests to enhance their knowledge of NVG helitanker protocols, including how night procedures would differ from daytime air operations.

In 2019, night vision technology was tested on three trial flights over the Richter Mountain and Eagle Bluff wildfires. The goggles helped the air crew map these incidents at night and identify hot-spots to assist firefighters on the ground. The upcoming work will expand on the night vision testing that was conducted in 2019.

Last year’s trials were the first of their kind in Canada, and they affirmed that additional trials were warranted to further explore the capabilities of night vision systems to support wildfire suppression activities.

If the results are positive and the BC Wildfire Service believes the program is worth pursuing, these trials will help guide decisions about how to incorporate this technology into the BC Wildfire Service’s future firefighting activities.

The BC Wildfire Service will use two NVG-capable aircrafts for these trials. Multiple helitanker “drops” will be completed in a controlled environment at an established training site with no fires burning. Ground observers stationed outside of the drop zone will evaluate each drop for accuracy and effectiveness.

Any challenges identified on the first day of the trial will allow the test team to make adjustments and modify its approach on the second day.

READ MORE: RCMP investigate bear spray assault outside Penticton pub

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bcwildfire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin
Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena and Nelson Civic Centre closing for season

RDCK is closing the ice at two of its arenas due to financial concerns related to COVID-19

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A Polyphemus cocoon. Photo: Ed McMackin
Out There: Wrapped Up for the Winter

“Probably, one of the most intricate works done for winter is completed by some species of moths that spend the winter in the pupa stage — the stage between larva and adult — enclosed in a protective covering.”

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read