Downed hydro lines are still being reported sporadically and as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, more than 2,000 customers were still affected.
BC Hydro crews are continuing to work to fix reported problems and have been supported by district fire departments.
Some dramatic pictures have been posted on Twitter from people passing affected sites as the power lines have gone down, often in a flurry of electrical sparks.
With the heavy snow on the trees, hydro wires can be brought down. They can look safe but can be energized. Please stay 10 metres away. pic.twitter.com/YFu54FilK3
— North Saanich Fire (@dns_fire) February 12, 2019
The North Saanich Fire Department posted pictures of one such outage, showing a bright electrical flame burning some nearby vegetation, despite the snow.
Fire Chief John Trelford noted “the high voltage lines that run down the side of the road are the fires we’re seeing – not residential fires at the moment. The fire cooks anything around it, including the pole.”
He added, luckily most of the fires had been in isolated areas and not in residential zones.
The snow and cold conditions have contained the spread of fire but are dangerous enough for fire personnel to cordon off affected areas and man sites until BC Hydro arrives to fix the lines.
Trelford said he is grateful for BC Hydro’s efforts and how quickly they are working, but sometimes fire personnel in the Saanich Peninsula have to guard a site for up to five hours.
As the snow thaws, slushy road conditions are now the North Saanich Fire Department’s primary concern.
“We haven’t seen so many car accidents. People have been good about travelling. Slush on side roads and North Saanich’s hilly roads could see some pretty slick roads,” Trelford warned.