Red fire retardant has been dropped below the fire on Mount Thompson.

Red fire retardant has been dropped below the fire on Mount Thompson.

Forest service crews still fighting Mount Thompson blaze southeast of Creston

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  • Aug. 14, 2012 12:00 p.m.

Nearly a week after a lightning strike started a wildfire on Mount Thompson, crews continue to battle a blaze that had grown to 56 hectares (138 acres) yesterday.

The fire started during the Aug. 8 electrical storm and crews were on the scene by Wednesday. As many as six helicopters have supported a crew of 36, many of which are rappel specialists, trained to fight fires in steep, rocky terrain.

The fire, located on the mountainside above the Bountiful community, is not considered a threat to any structures or infrastructures. Smoke has been visible throughout the Creston Valley and flames could be seen for miles around at night.

“Today, crews will work to keep the fire from progressing to the south and west through the building of a fire guard,” BC Forest Service fire information officer Tim Neal said yesterday. “To strengthen the fire guard, they will be burning off un-burnt fuel within the fire perimeter. This may cause more smoke to be visible in the surrounding area.”

B.C. is also experiencing a haze of smoke from forest fires in Russia.

Helicopters were used to bucket water, dropping it directly on the affected area or filling portable pools they set in place on the mountaintop last week. Firefighters pump water from the pools to fight fires from the ground.

Red fire retardant, visible in photographs, has been dropped to form a guard on the southern side of the fire.

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