August 10, 2017

Wildfire NOTAM Reminder


Parks Canada officials are reminding GA pilots of a fire suppression NOTAM affecting one of the most important VFR corridors through the Rockies. NOTAM 170983 affects airspace in a ten-mile radius around a forest fire 23 nautical miles west of Golden in the Rogers Pass. The The NOTAM is in effect until approximately Aug. 20. Parks Canada spokeswoman Shelley Bird told COPA Flight that despite the NOTAM, some pilots are still apparently trying to get through the pass, endangering themselves and the firefighters. Her message to pilots is copied below.

“I just wanted to send out a reminder of the current advisory for flights through Rogers Pass (between Revelstoke and Golden, British Columbia). Parks Canada and BC Wildfire Service fire crews are actively managing two wildfires in the area. Due to the steep terrain, fire suppression is done primarily by helicopter. At times there are between three to nine helicopters operating in the narrow valleys of Glacier National Park. An advisory is currently in place (see NOTAM #170983) but small fixed wing aircraft have been spotted entering the area recently. The safety of the public, our crews, infrastructure and neighbouring lands is Parks Canada’s top priority. We would like to remind pilots to please avoid the area as described in the NOTAM while fire management operations are on-going.”

There are numerous fire-related NOTAMs throughout B.C. and pilots must plan flights carefully to avoid them. Heavy smoke in some areas also has to be considered.