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Breaking: Mountain Drive Blocked Due to Fire

Updated: Mar 4

Live wires down, tree still ablaze

supplied photograph

Mountain Drive has been closed by Lions Bay Fire Rescue due to a fallen tree which has ignited, and continues to burn.

Fire crews are awaiting BC Hydro, as wires are still live.

More details forthcoming!

Update, 5 p.m.:

Mountain Drive has been reopened to foot and vehicle traffic, and power has been restored to houses on Mountain and Timbertop.

Fire Chief Barret Germscheid said that fire crews attended the scene shortly after 7:30 a.m. when a tree fell across high voltage power lines, snapping one of the three lines. The first line that hit the ground was live, and the tree, still suspended against the remaining two lines, caught fire. The tree then conducted electricty to the second residential distribution line which also caught fire.

Fire crews were able to block traffic on both sides of the blaze, but were unable to address the fire until BC Hydro attended and cut the power. Once the wires were grounded, crews were able to extinguish the fire and reopen the roads. BC Hydro crews on site repaired the damaged infrastructure.

Anastasia Polyakova and her husband Anton Polyakov were stranded with their dog Chef after the fire broke out. They'd walked down the hill to the school with their youngest daughter earlier in the morning, only to find their return home blocked by fire crews, concerned about the electrification of the wet ground around the fire.

"It makes me worry about evacuation plans, if we can get stuck like this because of a fire," said Polyankova.

Anastasia Polyakova, Anton Polyakov and Chef await the all clear to return home on March 4, 2024. photo by kc dyer

Chief Germsheid explained the reasoning for blocking foot traffic this morning. "When power lines hit the ground, electricity flows into the ground, and the lines may appear unenergized. This is not the fact. Often, the electricity is still flowing around these lines, dissipating the further it gets from the contact spot – similar to ripples in a pond. This can harm people walking nearby, and is why both BC Hydro and LBFR recommend a 10 metre safety zone around downed power lines."

After the incident, Village Chief Administrative Officer Ross Blackwell offered his thanks to the teams involved. "I'd like to acknowledge the great work, as always, of our Fire Rescue folks and BC Hydro, who are always very responsive."

The fire was a separate incident from a transmission failure reported this morning by BC Hydro affecting customers throughout the Sea to Sky corridor later this morning, which was the second instance in 12 hours. BC Hydro attributed both outages to the heavy snowfall, and continues to inspect lines by helicopter in the area.

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Norma Rodgers
Norma Rodgers
Mar 05

I have been hearing bits of information all day and saw the aftermath on my afternoon walk. I'm glad to read the full story.


Once again Karen, I extend my thanks for the effort you put into maintaining this source of ACCURATE information about our community.

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