BC Hydro crews have restored power to more than 90 per cent of the customers impacted by the McDougall Creek and Bush Creek wildfires but it’s been no easy feat, according to the company.
In the McDougall Creek wildfire, 27 kilometres of power lines, 426 poles and 66 pieces of other equipment needed to be replaced after the fire that started in West Kelowna Aug. 15 spread across the Central Okanagan.
“Crews have replaced almost 400 poles and have restrung a significant portion of the damaged power lines,” BC Hydro said in a statement.
“In addition to replacing the damaged infrastructure, they also participated alongside first responders and BC Wildfire Services in an extensive clean up effort to remove debris and vegetation from the impacted areas.”
The Bush Creek East wildfire started July 12 and caused significant damage to the electrical infrastructure in the area. About 22 kilometres of power lines, 430 poles and 52 pieces of other equipment needed to be replaced.
BC Hydro officials said Thursday that crews replaced 427 poles and yesterday restrung the last span of wire on Holding Road on the way to Adams Lake.
In addition to replacing the damaged infrastructure, they also participated alongside first responders and BC Wildfire Service in an extensive cleanup effort to remove debris and vegetation from the impacted areas.
Part of the rebuild effort also included replacing osprey platforms — taller power poles with a dedicated nesting platform — not attached to the electricity infrastructure to keep the birds safe and to prevent power outages and equipment damage related to nesting.
BC Hydro is offering support to customers impacted by the wildfires. Residential and commercial customers who were affected by an evacuation order are eligible to receive a credit for the electricity consumed for the duration of the time they’re out of their home, if the order was for five days or longer.
While the majority of work is complete, BC Hydro said there is still some very complex work to go, but will have nearly every customer’s power restored near the end of next week.
The latest information on restoration efforts is available online.