Crew members from the Wildfire Management Branch’s Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville did their annual practice exiting hovering helicopters at the Qualicum Beach airport on Wednesday.

Crew members from the Wildfire Management Branch’s Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville did their annual practice exiting hovering helicopters at the Qualicum Beach airport on Wednesday.

Firefighters get some practice before wildfire season

The crews spent several hours working at the Qualicum Beach airport, including live exercises getting in and out of the helicopter

Wildfire crew members are now set for another year of climbing in and out of helicopters in the back country.

Twenty-two Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource firefighters spent Wednesday doing their annual practice and re-certification to safely exit a helicopter that has to hover over rocky or uneven ground.

The crews spent several hours working at the Qualicum Beach airport, including live exercises getting in and out of the helicopter.

Marg Drysdale, fire information officer with the Wildfire Management Branch’s Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville, said it was an experienced crew, so they got through the exercises unusually fast.