WEST KELOWNA - Power outages are possible because of the Smith Creek fire and residents need to prepare.
A press release from the District of Central Okanagan statest the fire is burning within 100 metres of the main feeder line serving Peachland, Westbank and West Kelowna.
Crews from West Kelowna, Peachland, Kelowna, Lake Country along with B.C. Forestry are putting their effort into guarding the property and public infrastructure.
B.C. Hydro has provided information for customers to assist in preparing for an outage:
What to do during an outage
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Tune into your local radio station for storm and power outage updates.
4. Turn off all appliances, including home computers and peripherals, especially those that generate heat. This helps prevent hazards or damage when service is restored.
5. 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.
The fire at Smith Creek remains at about 200 hectares and crews on the ground and in the air are building fire guards to contain the blaze.
Shelter and emergency support such as food and water can be found at the evacuation centre located Mount Boucherie Secondary School, 2751 Cameron Road. The centre accomodated many of the approximately 2,500 people under evacuation order last night and will be open all day for those who have not yet registered.
Areas affected by the Evacuation Order are Smith Creek, Tallus Ridge, Alexandria Way and Shannon Woods. Residents from about 150 properties on Lenz Road, including the Pinewood Villa Mobile Home Park and from 1898 to 2515 Bartley Road also remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave their homes on short notice should fire behaviour increase.
A detailed map showing streets and addresses affected by the Evacuation Alert and Evacuation Orders can be viewed at www.cordemergency.ca.
In order to continue to provide adequate water supplies for the fire-fighting effort, residents living west of the W.R. Bennett Bridge are asked to continue restricting their household water use and not to water outdoors.
Emergency response personnel request that the public:
- Avoid the Smith Creek area so emergency responders can effectively perform their duties.
- Monitor www.cordemergency.ca, www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency, or www.twitter.com/CO_Emerg for confirmed information about the situation.
- Please only CALL 911 in case of emergency.
Firefighters battling 200 ha West Kelowna wildfire report few overnight flare-ups