Other than seeing smoke, or sometimes planes and helicopters; perhaps a firecrew on its way somewhere, most of us don't get to see what happens when a wildfire is responded to.
Many times it begins with the public who call in smoke reports. This is invaluable to the wildfire responders, being able to assess and respond quickly. This link gives more information on specifics you may be asked about the wildfire you are reporting:
Every now and then, there is an opportunity to see more of what happens when a fire is responded to.
On August 1, 2015 Fire N70542 in North Creek, (just above Duncan Lake) flared up . Below are some photos from the ground and air response. To follow where this and other fires in the area are located, go to the interactive map on BCWildfire.ca.
It began with several phone calls the night before from concerned public.
First thing in the morning, the fire warden went to have a look. Below, from a distance: This turned out to be smoke from two separate fires, stratified together by the cool early morning temperatures. Fire #498 was still burning around the corner, but a second fire just to the south west was also discovered.
Then, a closer look at the area where the smoke was seen coming from: This is Fire #498 at 9:00 a.m.
Below: This is the same fire (#498) taken from a different angle, at 2:30 p.m.:
Though fire #498 was burning, after travelling further up the road, the second fire was discovered to the south west. After driving up and down various backroads and brushed in spurs, a vantage point was found directly above the new fire (#542) in the North Creek area. Pictured below is just the very southern edge of the fire.
doesnt look like much....but in a short while, as the day began to warm up it began to put out more smoke:
The fire warden made a heli landing spot, so one of the crew chiefs could land to get a closer look:
Resources were requested. In this case, this meant planes, crew, a large holding tank and water delivery solutions. ....A birddog (spotter plane) had already been up to look at the fire and returned along with 4 Airtractors, or "Skimmers". The ground crew began arriving about the time that the Skimmers arrived. This was followed later by more crew and a water tender (truck with water tank on it) after the 3.3 km spur road had been brushed out so the big truck could get in.
Helicopter bucketing also began from Duncan Lake. It was a lot of hard work by all, and is ongoing. Continual and many thanks go to our wildfire responders in this hot dry summer.
Below: Initial response crew
Below: Birddog (spotter plane)
Below: series of the 4 Skimmers (Air tractors) dropping loads on the fire followed by the helicopter,"bucketing" from Duncan Lake.