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BC Hydro prepares for fire season

BC Hydro is actively reviewing its risks and contingency plans for the continuity of electricity to its customers during this year’s fire season.


"BC Hydro will proactively take measures to prevent forest fire damage to our system, including vegetation management and removal in powerline corridors and spraying high-risk transmission poles with fire retardant," announced Bev Van Ruyven, senior vice-president of distribution.

This is the first year BC Hydro applied fire retardant to transmission poles in high fire-risk areas. Thus far, poles in forest areas near Seton Lake, Lillooet and Kelowna have been sprayed with fire-retardant. Other areas identified as high-risk may be sprayed at a later date.

Van Ruyven added: "We will respond to power outages caused by fires as quickly and efficiently as possible, based on the specific nature of the fires and their impact, undertake assessments of the situation and work to repair any damaged infrastructure as soon as it is safe to do so."

Last year, as a result of the forest fires in the Interior, many businesses and homes were without power for extended periods of time. In the interest of maintaining public safety, BC Hydro provided a limited electricity supply to the communities that would otherwise have been without power for a number of weeks.