BC Hydro trucks wait to board a ferry at Duke Point on Sunday afternoon to help assist the wildfire situation in B.C.’s Interior. (BC Hydro photo)

Hydro crews pulled from Island to help with wildfires

About two dozen workers and 20 trucks are on their way to the BC Interior to help restore power.

BC Hydro crews on Vancouver Island have been pulled away to assist with the wildfire situation in B.C.’s Interior instead.

More than 20 trucks loaded up with a couple dozen hydro workers left from Duke Point bound for the Interior and they’ll be gone for the next week or more.

“There’s been hot and dry and windy weather over the past week and it’s increased the number of wildfires in B.C. and that’s led to the evacuations in several communities and power outages affecting about 7,000 customers over the past several days,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott

“We’ve been actively working with Emergency Management BC and fire officials in the central and southern Interior and there’s a lot of damage to our system right now; it’s quite significant.”

Scott said an initial assessment tallied 170 power poles, 93 cross arms, 90 spans of wire and 29 transformers have been damaged, “and we actually expect these numbers are going to continue to rise,” she noted.

Roughly 2,600 customers are without power in the fire zone, primarily in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

“We’re waiting for the OK from fire officials to gain access to the damaged areas…but we know it might be some time until we get clearance. What we want to do right now is make sure we’re fully prepared to respond in those areas once we’re given clearance so we’re assembling material, equipment, crews and designers and other experts that will be needed to help with the restoration work.”

It’s all hands on deck with about 100 crews working to get the people of the central and southern Interior restored.

And if the power goes out here there are still crews on the Island to get it restored.

“There’s still enough people to deal with the regular outages here but for things like planned outages that don’t need to be done right away, we’re just going to hold off on that for now,” Scott said.

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