Residents in West Kelowna may soon be without power as a result of the Smith Creek Fire.
The Regional District of the Central Okanagan is asking residents to be prepared in case power goes out as the fire is burning within 100 metres of the main feeder line that serves Peachland, Westbank, and West Kelowna.
Fire crews from West Kelowna, Peachland, Kelowna, Lake Country and the BC Forest Service are actively working to guard property and public infrastructure.
BC Hydro has provided the following information for customers to assist in preparing for an outage:
What to do during an outage
- Check whether the power failure is limited to your home. If your neighbour's power is still on, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box.
- Call BC Hydro at 1-888-POWERON (1-888-769-3766) or *HYDRO (*49376) on your cell phone. Tell us about the outage so we can send the right crews and equipment to the right location.
- Turn off all appliances, including home computers and peripherals, especially those that generate heat. This helps prevent hazards or damage when service is restored.
- Turn off all lights except one inside your home and one outside. The inside light lets you know and the outside light lets BC Hydro crews know, when the power is back on.
- Develop a preparedness plan and share it with your family. Be sure everyone knows what to expect and what to do. Have a contingency plan in case power is out for a longer period.
- Make a list of local emergency contact numbers (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
- Include 1-888-POWERON (1-888-769-3766) for reporting an outage.
- Prepare an emergency kit and store it in an easy-to find location. Check regularly to make sure the kit is well stocked and that all equipment is in good working order.
- Use surge protectors to protect sensitive electrical equipment such as computers, DVD players and TVs.
- Include a battery operated flashlight in your emergency kit to avoid using candles - they can be a fire hazard.
Never go near or touch a fallen power line. Always assume that a line or anything it is in contact with, is energized. Stay at least ten metres (33 feet) away at all times and do not attempt to remove debris surrounding the line.
If you see a fallen power line, report the exact location to 1-888-POWERON.
BC Hydro is working with emergency officials to protect the main power line from the fire:
- Efforts are underway by the Wildfire Management Branch to apply fire retardant on the right of way to protect the power line.
- BC Hydro has representation in the local EOC and closely monitoring the situation both on the ground and from the incident command centre.
- BC Hydro is doing absolutely everything that can be done to be ready to respond if there is damage to its infrastructure. Materials, crews, designers and other experts on standby.
- BC Hydro advises its customers to be prepared in the case of an emergency.