Nelson’s power back on, forest fire contained

Fire crews responded to the fire on Highway 3A

Helicopters dropping water on the fire that led to Nelson’s power being shut off. Photo: Tyler Harper

Power has been restored in Nelson after a forest fire beside Highway 3A east of Bonnington caused an outage late Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was contained by Beasley Fire Department with assistance from Nelson, Blewett and Crescent Valley firefighters. B.C. Wildfire Service also added helicopter support.

Beasley’s acting fire chief Monica Spencer said the fire was first reported at 3 p.m. and began near railway tracks that run below the highway next to Kootenay Lake eight kilometres west of Nelson. B.C. Wildfire staff are still investigating what caused the blaze.

Spencer said electricity being fed into Nelson by a nearby Fortis B.C. line was intentionally cut off during the fire.

“Nelson Hydro’s main line is hooked into it and we are interconnected, so when they go down, we go down,” said city manager Kevin Cormack.

Fortis’s transmission lines and structures were not damaged. Power was initially expected to be out for several hours but instead was restored early Wednesday evening.

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