FortisBC restores power to residents impacted by wildfire near Rock Creek
In a media release Friday, FortisBC said the company has now restored permanent power to residents impacted by the Rock Creek fire and is working proactively to address potential fire impacts in the areas of Grand Forks and Christina Lake.
“FortisBC completed the rebuilding of the fire-damaged 10-kilometer main line between Rock Creek and Westbridge on August 22, one week ahead of schedule,” said Nicole Bogdanovic Corporate Communications Advisor.
“This restored permanent power to the areas of Christian Valley, Beaverdell and Carmi after residents spent seven days on temporary diesel-generated power.”
“We appreciate these customers’ efforts to use power sparingly while on temporary power and they can now return to their normal electrical use,” added Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic said Power is now also available to each individual property between Rock Creek and Westbridge.
“We rebuilt and reenergized all of the secondary lines as of Friday, August 28 and continue to work with individual property owners to safely restore power to each premise,” she said.
“Any customers still without electricity are asked to call our customer service team so we can work with them to rebuild their service. Crews will be in the area over the coming weeks to complete final clean-up tasks.”
Bogdanovic said FortisBC is also closely monitoring the Stickpin fire across the border that could impact the areas of Christina Lake and Grand Forks.
“Our aim is to continue to provide safe and reliable service to customers and minimize potential damage to the system in the event the wildfire spreads,” he said.
“We’ve assessed all of these assets for risks and are taking steps to put protection measures in place where possible. This includes clearing vegetation around natural gas and electric substations and electric poles, covering valve systems with protective thermal blankets and having fire suppression equipment at the ready.”
Bogdanovic said crews have mapped out alternate service routes to minimize possible service disruptions should a fire cause damage to either our natural gas or electric systems, or if we need to shut off service to a natural gas pipe or de-energize a line to ensure safety.
“For our natural gas system, we stepped up completion of a planned upgrade to the gas transmission line between Grand Forks to Midway to make sure service is available from an alternate source,” Bogdanovic said.
“For our electrical service, we have alternate service routes planned and a diesel-generating unit on standby.”
Bogdanovic said if fire damage does occur, FortisBC operations and construction crews have developed plans in advance for restoration. Upwards of 20 crews are available to assist if necessary.
“We will continue to work closely with fire officials and take additional steps as necessary to keep the area safe for the public and our crews, and maintain service to customers,” she said.