Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Wait

We have been on the ground making calls and attempting to coordinate with the Air Ops side of the Forestry Service.
With the fire less than 24 hours old we are understandably low in the priority que at the moment.

The current flight restrictions around the area are 7000ft and below to the south of the Kelowna Control Tower due to smoke and air operations around the fire. As you get closer to the fire sites themselves the NOTAM (Notice to AirMen) calls for a 5 miles radius with a 9000 ft altitude restriction.

A look at the fire activivity as we lift off from the Kelowna airport earlier this morning

At around 11:00 we did a recon flight with these restrictions. We were able to get some shots of fire activity from a distance at an altitude of 7000. When we attempted to go to the 9000 ft level, smoke and cloud made further shooting unfeasible. We returned to our base at the Kelowna Airport to again wait.

Another medium helicopter arrives for potential hire by Forestry to support Fire operations.

I have noticed a number of medium helicopters arriving in the past two hours. They are all here with buckets awaiting to be contracted by Forestry to provide air support over the fire. They too sit and play the waiting game.

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