A BC Wildfire Services crew dangles from a hovering helicopter during a training exercise held at Qualicum Beach Airport on April 3. — Michael Briones photo

Vancouver Island hosts training exercise ahead of coming wildfire season

Firefighters practise entering and exiting a hovering helicopter

Members of the BC Wildfire Service engaged in a helicopter hover-exit exercise at Qualicum Beach Airport on Wednesday, April 3.

The session was a training certfication exercise, conducted every year in preparation for the coming fire season. It involves members learing to enter and exit a helicopter as it hovers above the ground.

“We do this every year to recertify for the helicopter operations we need to do on wildfires,” said TJ Hamre, a forest firefighter for eight years and one of the program trainers.

READ MORE: B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

READ MORE: Crews fighting 250-hectare wildfire near Kamloops

Hamre said those involved are all excited to resume training and assist new recruits.

Last year was the worst fire season on record in British Columbia. Between April 2018 and March 2019 there were 2,112 wildfires, torching 1.3 million hectares of land. Roughly 40 per cent of fires are human-caused each year.

Hamre said the hovering exit training exercise is important as it is always the last resort to get to a remote location when there’s no other option for any sort of landing.

Before the crews and new recruits did the actual exercise, they went through a thorough briefing and held mock entrances and exits.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria byelection tentatively scheduled for April 4

The byelection will replace former Coun. Laurel Collins

Hazardous black ice coats Greater Victoria streets

Drivers, cyclists, pedestrians warned to be cautious

Saanich councillor feels new Walmart at Hillside a step in the wrong direction

‘We’ll all fail our climate goals if we don’t make radical changes to land use,’ says the councillor

Crystal pool advocates hold mixed feelings as Victoria explores previously studied sites

Local neighbourhood associations, swimming advocates vote for different locations

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Oil and gas industry applauds Supreme Court’s dismissal of B.C. TMX case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Airliner crash a mistake that pleased Iran’s enemies: Supreme Leader Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader says dowining of Flight 752 was a bitter accident in rare sermon

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

VIDEO: Missing cat reunited with Vancouver Island family after three months

‘It was like one day she was there, the next day she was gone,’ said owner

Most Read