August 9, 2018 4:30 pm
Updated: August 9, 2018 7:55 pm

Calgary pilot captures incredible images of B.C. wildfires: ‘It looked like a volcano erupted’

WATCH: Thick, heavy smoke from the B.C. wildfires is expected to linger around the Prairie provinces for the next few days. As Christa Dao reports, officials expect it to get worse before it will get better.


A Calgary pilot has captured some dramatic images of wildfires currently burning in the Okanagan from 40,000 feet in the air.

thick, heavy grey smoke billowing from the mountains.

Matt Melnyk

A pilot of 20 years, Matt Melnyk said he was flying between Calgary and Vancouver when he saw the thick, heavy grey smoke billowing from the mountains.

“It looked like a volcano erupted. It was incredible,” Melnyk described.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

The WestJet pilot said he knew instantly the smoke was coming from the Okanagan wildfires.

Thick heavy smoke could be seen from 40,000 feet in the air.

Matt Melnyk

Melnyk said in all his years of flying, he had not seen anything like it, adding it was pure luck that he was able to see it because of the calm conditions in the sky.

“Yesterday, there were no clouds, no weather. There was a nice defined line of where the smoke started and it extended all across the province and you can see the smoke extend all the way from the trees,” he said.

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for much of the Prairies due to wildfire smoke. As of Thursday, there are currently hundreds of wildfires burning in B.C.

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