A charred utility pole in the Cariboo. (BC Hydro)

EMBC to deliver satellite phones to wildfire-affected areas

Agency warns that regular communications could go down

A Cariboo communications tower, which provides landline telephones and internet, cellphone, and data services to a large area from Riske Creek to Bella Coola, has not been damaged by the flames.

The BC Hydro pole, which is shared by Telus, “has been at risk for some time,” said Emergency Management BC deputy minister Robert Turner. “I know BC Wildfire has been prioritizing suppression efforts to make sure it’s not damaged.”

RELATED: White Lake fire gives city a break, for now

Telus spokesperson Liz Sauve confirmed that the company has not lost any infrastructure due to the wildfires.

“In some areas where power was cut off, we were able to keep cell towers running on generator, and our crews would go in and refuel the generators when safe, generally accompanied by emergency response crews,” Sauve said. “In the Ashcroft-Cache Creek corridor, we had some lines burned, but were able to restore those as soon as it was safe and they are now back up and running in advance of evacuees returning home.”

VIDEO: Anaham residents find strength in fighting fires

If the Riske Creek utility pole was damaged, EMBC is prepared to offer alternate communication to the affected residents. The BC Wildfire Service is planning to drop off 5-6 satellite phones in First Nation communities along Hwy. 20 on Tuesday. Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District will also receive one satellite phone each.

But despite the province’s efforts to save the communications tower, Turner warned people to be prepared for the worst.

“People who are in that area need to be aware that they could lose this service,” he said. “That may include going to the bank machine to ensure you have cash, gas stations to make sure you have fuel but also let people let outside the area know that if this happens, they may not be able to reach you.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Tips flowing in about alleged suspect in Clayton assaults

Two girls, 11 and 15, were sexually assaulted one week apart

Pedestrian hit at Surrey intersection for second time this week

Woman in hospital after second crash this week at King George Boulevard and 96th Avenue

Collision in South Surrey

32 Avenue traffic diverted following morning crash

BREAKING: Raymond Lee Caissie gets life in prison for murdering Surrey teen in 2014

Judge numbers Caissie among ‘violent merciless men without a conscience’

‘State of Newton’ calls for area’s ‘fair share’

‘We’ve been under invested in terms of our population,’ says Newton BIA director

Busy Highway 99 junction not yet a priority for province

City of Surrey says it’s ready to fund project

NEW MUSIC VIDEO: Fionn’s ‘Skeleton’ features White Rock twin sisters

Lyric video for song crafted by 604 Records-signed musicians

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

VIDEO: Body discovered in dumpster at Rio Can mall in Langley City

Area behind Bombay furniture store taped off after dumpster fire reveals body of deceased woman

5 to start your day

Sentencing in murder of Surrey teen expected, Maple Ridge mayor to step away from politics and more

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Most Read