After five days on backup diesel generators, people in Behchoko, N.W.T., don't have to conserve power anymore because the community's hydro transmission line is back up and running.

The power went out in the community on Tuesday. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) said it suspects it was because of the heat and smoke from nearby forest fires.

The combination of elements can ground a transmission line and then cause an outage. 

After testing the transmission line again Saturday, it worked, and the community is no longer running on diesel. 

But Pam Coulter, spokesperson for NTPC, says crews still aren't able to get to the ground to see if any of the lines are damaged. 

"There could be damage from actual fire, there could be soot in the mechanisms at the top of the lines," she said. 

fire near snare power line to Behchoko

An aerial view of a forest fire near the high-voltage power transmission line between Behchoko and the Snare hydroelectric plant that caused outages in Yellowknife, Behchoko and Dettah on Tuesday. Smoke and fire under a line can cause the line to become grounded which shorts it out causing an outage. (N.W.T. Power Corporation)

"At this point we don't know if there's damage or not, we can't put anyone on the ground. Safety is always a top priority for NTPC and we can't have crews on the ground until we know it's safe to do so."

Forest fires caused outages in Yellowknife and Dettah both Tuesday and Wednesday. 

On Wednesday, residents in the city were also asked to conserve energy, which included not doing laundry or using the dishwasher, as well as unplugging appliances. 

Power has been stable in the city after about an hour of flickering on Wednesday, but Coulter says it could go out at any time again because of forest fire conditions.