We could see more extended outages in the East Kootenay due to fire safety measures.
This after two blackouts Wednesday knocked out power to over 6,500 residents in Kimberley and Cranbrook.
Sally Macdonald with BC Hydro says the utility is blocking its system’s ability to deal with minor faults on power lines.
“The system isn’t automatically reclosing a circuit that’s affected by interruptions like birds, rodents or vegetation,” Macdonald says. “A crew has to investigate the cause of the outage and manually reclose the circuit.”
She says this is to avoid any wildfire risk during hot and dry conditions.
“Sometimes when the system automatically recloses, it can cause arching if there is a tree on the line, for example,” Macdonald says. “We want to do everything we can to make sure that we reduce the risk around our region during these conditions.”
The outage in Kimberley Wednesday morning was caused by a bird hitting a transformer.
Macdonald says the afternoon power failure in Cranbrook could be due to an animal touching a power line.
Both outages lasted less than two hours.
– BC Hydro Community Relations, Sally Macdonald
– Jeff Johnson