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

COLUMN: COVID-19 contact tracing app offers innovative approach

App designed to help monitor spread of pandemic in Canada

Dry Lake wildfire now classified as held

Wildfire was burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen pays nearly $8 million in wages

Figures included in latest Statement of Financial Information

Democracy costs Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen more than $500,000

Remuneration and expenses paid to chair, directors and alternate directors comes to $542,588

Okanagan set for thunderstorms before sunny weekend

Thunderstorms are predicted to give way to a hot, sunny weekend around Kelowna

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Masks urged for some students returning to Vernon schools

Phase two sees students return full-time Sept. 8

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Water draws Okanagan artists together for exhibit

Gallery Vertigo open house Saturday for Spirit of Water

Most Read