Sunday, July 19, 2009


This has been a flight week that can be described in one word - FIRE.

House fire, boat fires and as I sat down to a chicken BBQ with my son, the phone rang with word of another fire. This time of the forest variety and it is serious. The call was to prepare the deployment of Chopper 9 and her FLIR broadcast camera to Kelowna.
The last time I got a call like this for Kelowna was during the hot dry summer of 2003 when a wild fire ripped through the outer parts of town destroying hundreds of homes and causing millions of dollars of dammage.

As we left at dawn to the fire zone, word of 12 homes already lost and thousands of people evacuated. The situation is very fluid at this moment and now that we have arrived we are awaiting further instructions.

The smoke rises into the horizon as we transit to Kelowna. This plume is from a second fire in the Kelowna area near the Rose Valley Dam.

A look from 8000 ft as we fly past the Glenrosa fire West Kelowna. This blaze was discovered on Saturday afternoon has already forced thousands to be evacuated and reports indicate as many as 12 structures have been destroyed.

A shot of the smoke lingering in the air as we fly into Kelowna

I shall attempt to keep updating with photos and give you an idea of what it is like to cover a wild fire from a news gathering helicopter.
But for now we wait.
For the most up to date information please go to the ctv web site by following the link and click on CTV British Columbia.

For now we sit and wait at the Kelowna airport until we coordinate with Fire Flight Operations.

No comments: