Oil, lumber companies mobilize to protect pipelines, mills from BC wildfires

Kinder Morgan is removing vegetation to create a fire break in the areas in which its Trans Mountain pipeline operates.

July 12, 2017   by CP Staff

VANCOUVER — Kinder Morgan Canada and other companies operating near some of the more than 200 wildfires burning across BC are suspending operations and taking measures to keep the fire away from their pipelines, mills and other infrastructure.

The pipeline company’s chief operating officer Hugh Harden said in a statement the fires are “a distance” from the land over and around the company’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

He said the company is removing vegetation to create a fire break and adding sprinklers to keep areas wet at a number of locations as part of its preventative measures.

Pembina Pipeline Corp., which operates a pipeline in the province from Taylor to Kamloops, did not respond to a request for comment.


BC Hydro said its initial assessment found damage to 170 power poles, 95 cross-arms, 90 spans of wire between poles and 30 transformers.

Spokesperson Mora Scott says those numbers are expected to rise and the company is conducting a helicopter patrol Tuesday morning to better assess the damage.

Copper Mountain Mining Corporation spokesman Dan Gibbons said the company’s open pit mine about 20 kilometres south of Princeton, BC, lost power for about 36 hours but is now running again.

He said the company has lent first aid personnel to Princeton.

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., which temporarily suspended operations at three of its locations Sunday afternoon, said it has deployed staff and resources to protect its Williams Lake and Chasm, B.C., operations.

Spokeswoman Hannah Seraphim said in an email that for the company’s 100 Mile House location, local government authorities are managing the nearby fire. Staff and the local community have been evacuated.

Seraphim said that none of the company’s facilities have sustained any damage.

Norbord Inc.’s wood panel mill in 100 Mile House remains closed and Tolko Industries Ltd. said on its Facebook page that its Williams Lake area mills will not operate until further notice due to an evacuation alert.

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