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

Three dogs found wandering West Kelowna returned to owners

Two of the three dogs were found to be severely injured

West Kelowna looking for feedback on 2020 draft budge

The city is also seeking feedback on its 2020-2024 financial plan

Power restored to Big White

It’s unknown why the power went out Tuesday afternoon

UPDATE: House fire quickly knocked down in South Kelowna

According to Kelowna Fire Department, the house sustained interior damage during the blaze

Two-month-old Kelowna boy diagnosed with rare heart disorder returns home from treatment

Arel spent two weeks at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after suffering multiple cardiac arrests

WATCH: Cougar caught on doorbell cam in Vernon

Glenn Gorham shares footage of late-night visit from wild cat

Missing Vernon man possibly sighted in Lower Mainland

Information leads family, friends to believe Jay Rosenberger near Lower Mainland Saturday

Prolific South Okanagan criminal will be freed for time served

Afshin Ighani pleads guilty to assault charges but will be set free for time served

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Shuswap man given six months jail time for possession of child pornography

Forty-six-year-old will be on National Sex Offender Registry for 20 years

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Museum digs up history for ’60s Vernon Winter Carnival

Get Groovin’ with the Grandkids or flashback to the ’60s with tunes, trivia and costumes

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Most Read