When we headed north to spend time in the fire lookout, things were pretty quiet around the fire camp with cool, wet weather. But upon my return, things had done an about face. Camp was bursting at the seams and there were about 5 helicopters flitting in and out on patrols and responding to smoke reports. Two bomber groups were based nearby, and the fire hazard had climbed considerably.
But before all that we had to spend a little time at home to cut the grass and make sure the house was still standing.
It appears that there were a few disagreements among the local deer population.
A lightning strike caused a fire to the west of the base, right near the boundary of Banff National Park. It was discovered on July 3, and still shows up on the Alberta government fire map at 6,628 hectares, or roughly 15 thousand acres? (Photos below are from local media outlets.)
There are some Youtube videos of the Spreading Creek fire as it has become known, here on Youtube.
In spite of all the action to the west, the fire lookouts I deal with still need supplies, so on my return it took a while to get caught up.
With all the helicopters at my base committed to fire operations, I had to look further afield to find an available craft. A ‘212’ was available for this trip, and I even got to ‘fly’ it for a while!
Back at the Air Tanker base, 2 bomber groups are on alert to head for the next smoke, and heavy equipment sits waiting as well.
Other lookout servicing requires some scenic driving…
And some scenic flying …
And a look at some local wildlife …
Next post – rappel crews come to visit.