Eagle Bay firefighters responded to wires on the road on Dec. 31, 2019. Buried in snow, the still energized wires ignited the asphalt beneath. (Eagle Bay Fire Department photo)

Shuswap firefighters warn of dangers of downed, damaged power lines

Eagle Bay Fire Department cautions public to keep safe distance, call 911

Recent incidents of downed or damaged power lines have prompted Shuswap firefighters to issue a public service reminder.

The Eagle Bay Fire Department put out the reminder on its Facebook page on Jan. 4, explaining they’ve responded to multiple recent call outs for trees on wires, wires on the road, trees on fire, wires pulled away from houses, etc. While some of the downed wires were observed arcing, moving or accompanied by open flame, most of the time there was nothing to indicate any real danger.

“Do not be fooled by the lack of ‘telltale signs,’” the fire department warns. “These ‘dead wires’ can be energized at any time.

“The power lines coming into Eagle Bay are carrying approximately 14,000 volts. FOURTEEN THOUSAND VOLTS. Each of the uppermost wires. The silver coloured wires that HAVE NO INSULATION. 14K each. And there is usually NO WAY OF KNOWING whether or not the line is energized.”

BC Hydro advises keeping a distance of 10 metres (33 feet) from downed or damaged lines and dialing 911 to inform that a line is down and/or damaged.

“So if a tree is touching the wire, you need to stay that minimum distance away from the tree,” cautions the fire department. “Occasionally, the wires may land on something that will conduct electricity great distances such as a wire or metal fence, a steel building or metal pipes.”

On Dec. 31, Eagle Bay firefighters were doing emergency traffic control at the scene of “wires down ” across from the road from Eagle Bay Mercantile.

“After several hours, the wire that was now buried in snow came to life and put on a pretty good show –humming, buzzing, snapping, dancing. The asphalt actually caught on fire underneath the snow.

“It was a great wake up call for us to never let our guard down on these ‘routine calls.’”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

e line is energized.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon rink into win column at BC Senior Curling finals

Vernon Curling Club hosting the province’s top senior curlers; finals set for Sunday at 10 a.m.

Vernon bowlers dominate zones at home

Five teams from Lincoln Lanes advance to provincial YBC finals in Vernon/Kelowna

Vernon sewing instructor teaches flawless fitting

Clothes for real curves made possible with Dawne Whelpley’s workshops

Vernon-area duo still awaiting trial for animal abuse

Trial date expected to be set within the next three weeks

Vernon woman named one of B.C.’s Top 40 business leaders

Amanda Shatzko, consultant and politician, picked up Business in Vancouver Top 40 selection

Okanagan divers ready to take on 2020 B.C. Winter Games

The athletes have been training four days a week

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

EDITORIAL: Revisiting cannabis regulations

Recent retail license application has brought up concerns about present policy in Summerland

Guidelines regulate Summerland cannabis stores

The municipality’s policy, 300.6 establishes the 50-metre buffer zone around schools and parks

Largest aircraft to operate at YLW begins service to Toronto this summer

The Boeing 767-300ER will increase seat availability for flights to Toronto by 40 per cent

Most Read