The BC Wildfire Service issued a warning after a drone was spotted near the Crazy Creek Gorge wildfire on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. (File photo)

The BC Wildfire Service issued a warning after a drone was spotted near the Crazy Creek Gorge wildfire on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021. (File photo)

Drone distracts firefighters tackling Shuswap wildfire

BC Wildfire Service issues warning after drone spotted near Crazy Creek blaze

A drone sighting in the area of an out-of-control Shuswap wildfire has prompted a warning from the BC Wildfire Service.

On Sunday, Aug. 8, a drone was observed flying in the vicinity of the Crazy Creek Gorge FSR (forest service road) wildfire north of Sicamous. The BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said this activity compromises suppression efforts and halts air operations.

“This type of activity is extremely dangerous and poses a significant safety risk to personnel, especially when low-flying firefighting aircraft are present,” said the BCWS. “If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft, the consequences could be deadly.”

Anyone caught operating a drone that interferes with fire control could be fined up to $100,000, or jailed for up to one year, or both.

As of Aug. 9, the Crazy Creek fire was estimated to be 3,619 hectares in size. Structural protection units were set up on buildings in Pete Martin Bay, while structure protection work continued in the community of Queest Village.

According to the BCWS, guards have been set up around Pete Martin Bay.

A small hand-ignition operation took place on Aug. 7 on the north end to reinforce the guards and limit the spread of the fire towards Pete Martin Bay and Queest.

Planning was also underway for a possible machine-made contingency guard further south from the fire that would help limit the growth southwards down the Anstey Arm.

Read more: UPDATE: Drone spotted flying near out of control Vernon wildfire

Read more: RCMP investigate drone flying over Becker Lake fire near Vernon


lachlan@saobserver.net
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B.C. Wildfires 2021