Clinton, B.C., councillor sounds alarm over major BC Hydro substation jeopardized by wildfire

A Clinton village councillor is warning people in B.C.'s Lower Mainland that smoke may just be the beginning of their troubles if a wildfire in the area gets much worse.

Fire could impact Kelly Lake substation, which provides power to Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island

A controlled burn near the community of Clinton, B.C., is now raging out of control and has forced the evacuation of the area around a major BC Hydro substation. (20 Mile Ranch)

A Clinton village councillor is warning people in B.C.'s Lower Mainland that smoke may just be the beginning of their troubles if a wildfire in the area gets much worse.

Susan Swan says the fire, which was started three days ago when a controlled burn got out of hand, has put BC Hydro's Kelly Lake substation in jeopardy.

The substation feeds power to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. 

"I put something out there just to make people in the Lower Mainland aware it's not just an Interior B.C. problem — it's a B.C. problem," Swan told CBC News. 

"The entire Kelly Lake Road — they call it the Clinton/Pavillion Road now — is on evacuation order. I want to get the word out, if there's any extra resources that we can get on it, then please do so."

Precautions in place

BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott said a number of precautions have already been put in place at the Kelly Lake substation, including applying fire retardant to two wooden storage buildings and clearing vegetation around the site.  

"We've also sourced 2,500 gallons of water to assist the fire department if necessary," said Scott.

"At this time, the fire is several kilometres away. The station manager isn't too concerned ... but we are doing everything we can to protect it just in case it does get close."

Scott could not say if the fire was threatening any transmission lines.

On Tuesday, winds blew a controlled burn west across Highway 97 and ignited a wildfire that quickly grew out of control.

A day later, an evacuation order was issued for over 100 properties in the area. The order remains in place.

Earlier today, the B.C. government extended the provincial state of emergency by another two weeks to Aug. 18 due to the wildfire situation.