By Kristen Holliday/Castanet

The BC Wildfire Service says smoke may be visible to people in the Merritt and Lower Nicola areas Friday as crews conduct a prescribed burn.

In a statement, BCWS said it will be working with the Lower Nicola Indian Band and the Lower Nicola Fire Department for the ignition operations, which are planned about six kilometres northwest of Merritt.

The burning will take place in two locations within the Lower Nicola Indian Band region, and is part of a larger, 210-hectare project which started on in mid-March.

“This portion of the ongoing project will be approximately 10 hectares in size, and will only proceed if site conditions are favourable,” BCWS said.

“The objectives of this project are to reduce the buildup of dead grass, promote the growth of traditional foods, [and] aid in community protection in a wildland urban interface area.”

Smoke may be visible from Merritt, Lower Nicola, Sunshine Valley, Petite Creek, and people travelling along Highway 9 and Highway 97C.