British Columbia

B.C. power crews heading to California to help with wildfire recovery

Twenty-five maintenance crews from Coquitlam-based Rokstad Power are headed to the Sonoma County area on short notice to help manage wildfire damage.

Rokstad Power CEO says his crews will support cleanup and repair efforts in Sonoma County

Coquitlam-based Rokstad Power is sending 25 crews to Sonoma County. (Rokstad Power)

A large convoy of power maintenance crews were lined up at the Pacific border crossing in South Surrey on Tuesday.

The crews from B.C.-based Rokstad Power are heading to California to help authorities with wildfire damage.

Twenty-five local crews are bringing around 80 pieces of equipment to Sonoma County to help manage wildfire damage and repair infrastructure.

CEO Aaron Rokstad said it was a short-notice call.

"Our team worked through the night to put a roster together, gather the troops and the plan was to cross the border all at once today and then head on the road," he told CBC News on Tuesday.

"We've got a 14- to 18-hour [day] ahead of us so it was important that we got out by midday."

Firefighters have been struggling for a sixth day against a sprawling blaze in Sonoma County's wine-making region, where high-wind forecasts have prompted the local energy utility to impose a new round of blackouts for nearly 600,000 homes and businesses.

Around 130,000 residents of Northern California remained evacuated from their homes as of Tuesday.

Rokstad said crews will help manage damaged parts of Sonoma County's grid, as well as repairing and replacing any burned or damaged infrastructure like power poles, towers and lines.


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