—— Tim Petruk/Castanet

Smoke could be visible from Merritt and the Coquihalla Highway on Friday as BC Wildfire Service crews prepare for a planned burn aimed at reducing the buildup of dry vegetation in the area.

The BCWS said the burn is being planned in conjunction with the Coldwater Indian Band and the Coldwater Fire Department on an area 7.5 kilometres southwest of Merritt.

Ignition is expected to take place on Friday, with potential mop-up work carrying over into the weekend.

“This portion of the ongoing project will be approximately 3.5 hectares in size and will only proceed if conditions are favourable,” the BCWS said in a post on social media.

“The objectives of this project are to reduce the buildup of dead grass, promote the growth of traditional food and aid in community protection in a woodland urban interface.”