A photo of the Brenda Creek fire from July 15. (Contributed/B.C. Wildfire Service)

A photo of the Brenda Creek fire from July 15. (Contributed/B.C. Wildfire Service)

Westside officials lobbying for more power lines after wildfire threatens only source

West Kelowna, Westbank and Peachland are all advocating for new power lines

Officials at the City of West Kelowna and surrounding communities say it’s about time the Westside gets another power transmission line.

The issue has become even more prevalent after the Brenda Creek wildfire threatened the Westside’s only power line, which serves about 70,000 residents in West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation (WFN) and Peachland.

The City of West Kelowna’s CAO Paul Gipps said he and the CAOs from WFN and Peachland are all advocating for additional power lines that can serve the three areas.

“Power redundancy, I know that’s a major topic for council and we’re pushing as hard as we can,” he said during the Tuesday (July 27) council meeting.

When the Brenda Creek wildfire started growing in size, the main concern was BC Hydro’s power transmission line as the fire burned nearby. As the only source of power for the area, residents were at risk of experiencing an outage if it had been damaged in the fire.

Fortunately, the fire has now been driven away from the power corridor and the line did not sustain any damage.

Gipps said that he will continue to provide updates as he and the other CAOs speak with BC Hydro and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

Now at an estimated 824 hectares, the Brenda Creek fire continues to burn out of control due to some heavy winds.

READ MORE: No growth at Brenda Creek wildfire

READ MORE: More burned in 2021 wildfires so far than all of last year


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twila.amato@blackpress.ca

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B.C. Wildfires 2021City of West KelownaOkanagan