Operational update

Wildfires in the Central and Southern Interior cause power outages and damage BC Hydro equipment

Photo from July 2017 wildfire shows a burned power pole and a charred landscape with smoky haze in the background

VANCOUVER – Wildfires in the Central and Southern Interior have caused significant damage to BC Hydro’s electrical infrastructure and have left thousands without power. BC Hydro is actively working with Emergency Management BC and fire officials to restore power.

An initial assessment shows there is damage to about 170 power poles, 95 cross-arms, 90 spans of wire, and 30 transformers. These numbers are expected to rise.

BC Hydro is restoring power where possible. Power to some customers in Cache Creek and Ashcroft has been restored; however, work continues.

There are currently about 7,000 customers without power in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. BC Hydro is awaiting clearance from fire officials before beginning work in these areas. It may be some time before that happens because it is not safe for crews to enter due to fire activity and heavy smoke.

BC Hydro is doing everything it can to be fully prepared to respond once clearance is granted, including assembly of materials, crews, designers and other experts that will be needed. Crews have been brought in from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland to support with restoration efforts. About 100 crews are working at this time.

BC Hydro appreciates its customers’ patience as restoration work continues and will continue to provide updated estimates for power restoration on bchydro.com/outages.