Video shows incredible precision of air crews fighting B.C.’s massive Shovel Lake wildfire
Crews are making steady progress on a number of wildfires across the province, thanks in part to water drops like the one captured in a recent viral video.
In the video, pilots expertly douse a batch of flames burning in the Shovel Lake wildfire with a level of precision that is hard to believe.
An Erikson S64 Aircrane approaches a fire after filling its giant tank with water using a long hose — sea snorkel — dangling from the aircraft.
As the helicopter approaches the blaze, the helicopter slows down and water flows from the tank onto the patch of flames in what can only be called a precision drop.
The video was filmed by Australian firefighter Mark Williams. He shared it with Rylan Macallister, who works on the Erikson helicopter. Macallister edited the video and shared it on Facebook where it has been viewed more than 500,000 times since it was posted on Saturday.
The deft helicopter manoeuvres and precision water drop look like something out of an old-school video game.
“Hold the joystick slightly back. Press ‘X,'” one Reddit commenter said about the video.
Erikson spokesperson Susan Bladholm notes that such a surgical drop requires a tremendous amount of skill and help from crews “on the ground that were communicating with them about where to focus.”
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“For us, it’s all in a day’s work,” Bladholm said. “It’s just not something that the general public gets to see very often.”
The Shovel Lake hectare fire, estimated to be 92,000 hectares in size, is now considered contained.
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