Give downed power lines a wide berth.

It’s a message that BC Hydro community relations manager, Ted Olynyk, is sending to people across Vancouver Island. 

Olynuyk says if you see a downed line, stay 10 metres back, and never assume that it’s de-energized because it’s on the ground. 

“We’re hearing issues that are of real concern to us. People picking up lines so people can drive underneath them, driving over lines, crews coming where there is a report of a downed tree, and when they get there, the line’s still down but it’s just a pile of sawdust. Someone has come and removed the tree from the line and thinks it’s an opportunity for free firewood.”

He added that “the line could still be energized, it could never have tripped out when it fell to the ground. We could be trying to bring the system on remotely, or someone in the area has a generator and it’s not wired properly and it’s going to feed back in the system. You’re taking a terrible risk by lifting them up or trying to remove a tree from the line. It’s just not worth the risk.”