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Wildfire-response exercise to be held on Whistler Mountain

Smoke will be visible in resort from May 29 controlled burns

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Don't be alarmed if you see smoke rising from the slopes of Whistler Mountain in the coming days.

The BC Wildfire Service is conducting a wildfire training exercise with Whistler Blackcomb resort staff and members of the Whistler Fire Rescue Service on Wednesday, May 29 near the top of the Fitzsimmons Express chairlift.

"The exercise will include small controlled burns that will start at about 10 a.m. and continue until early afternoon," states a release from the BC Wildfire Service. "BC Wildfire Service firefighters will monitor these fires at all times and ensure they are fully extinguished."

Smoke will be visible in the Whistler area. Whistler Blackcomb operates under a commercial recreation agreement, which includes an obligation to assist with wildfire response. The small controlled burns will provide real-time training for responding to a wildfire.

"Wednesday's exercise is an important opportunity for everyone involved to learn how to work better together when responding to a wildfire," said the release.

"The exercise will introduce resort employees to tools and techniques used by the local fire department and BC Wildfire Service. It will also give all participants a clearer understanding of the ski hill's extensive infrastructure, including plumbing and overhead hazards. This unique, on-site training experience has run for about a decade."

To report a wildfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca

Follow the latest wildfire news:

* on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

* on Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

To see wildfire smoke forecasts from FireSmoke Canada, visit: www.firesmoke.ca

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