Helicopters Fighting The Verdant Creek Fire Fill Up at Banff Sunshine Meadows Although the Verdant Creek Fire is no longer a risk to the Sunshine Village area, both BC Parks and Parks Canada are still working out of our resort fighting the fire. Presently, the Verdant Creek fire is being fought south of Sunshine Meadows in the northern region of Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Much of the area where the Verdant Creek fire is, is quite remote. The ease of accessibility that Sunshine provides has allowed fire fighting efforts to be staged out of our area This week, Parks Canada and BC Parks, began using Grizzly and Laryx Lake as a water source. Helicopters fighting the fire are using the two alpine lakes to fill up their water buckets. For us, It’s been interesting to watch the helicopters gracefully scoop up water. This week, we shared a video of a helicopter collecting water from Laryx Lake on our Facebook. Comments on the video expressed some surprise at the size of the water bucket, as it looked small. And indeed, the water bucket is small. Why is the water bucket small? Because of the flying altitude and weather conditions. Weather wise, the hot summer air has a lower air density. The hot weather, combined with the already thin air of high elevation is hard to fly in, as both high elevation, and warm temperatures reduce the performance of an aircraft’s engine. Helicopters working at high altitudes can't carry as much as when they are working near sea level. The helicopters working to fight the fire near Sunshine are flying at an elevation of 7,500 ft and 8,000 ft. They're working near their service ceiling for carrying a payload. In these hot summer days, the pilots have to adjust quickly to air conditions.