Service alert

FortisBC is supporting the response to wildfires in Kelowna and monitoring the situation in other parts of the province

September 5, 2023, 2:20 p.m.

FortisBC’s first priority is to maintain the safety of the public and our employees as we closely monitor fires in the region and work with provincial emergency officials, local authorities and other stakeholders to determine the level of action required in each area.

Wildfires and outages

In response to the McDougall Creek wildfire and at the request of emergency officials, we shut off gas service to approximately 190 properties in the West Kelowna areas on August 17.

Crews have now assessed for damage, made necessary repairs and brought gas back to the community. The final step will be to restore service to each property once fire officials confirm it is safe to do so.

See below for important details on restoring natural gas service to your property.

We continue to monitor fires across the province and are taking necessary mitigation steps to help minimize the impact to customers and support the emergency response.

Bill credits for evacuees

FortisBC customers under evacuation order due to wildfires will receive a bill credit to cover energy used at their home or business during this time. Charges billed over the evacuation period will be automatically applied to accounts and appear as a credit on an upcoming bill. Customers can always contact us if they have concerns about their bills or their services.

We understand what a difficult time this is for people affected by wildfires in our province. We’re working with emergency officials to safely restore areas impacted so that people can return home as quickly as possible.

What you need to know:

If emergency officials request FortisBC to do so, we will turn off the gas or electricity service as a precautionary measure or if there is an immediate threat to FortisBC infrastructure.

If our system is damaged, once fire or emergency officials confirm the situation is safe, FortisBC will assess the impacts, repair any damage and reactivate the affected part(s) of our system.

The decision to evacuate or lift an evacuation order is made by local officials after consultation with other agencies, including FortisBC.

In the event you are evacuated, leave your gas appliances on and exit your property immediately. Do not turn off your gas meter. FortisBC can safely turn off sections of our natural gas system following the shut off plans we have in place for our entire system. These plans allow us to minimize any potential hazards or risks during an evacuation or large-scale event.

Find out more about what to do if you are on alert or returning home from an evacuation.

If your electrical system has been damaged by fire, call FortisBC for to have your service safely disconnected. Before restoring service, FortisBC will first ensure the electricity infrastructure is safe before reconnecting power.

If your home’s electrical system, such as the wiring, electric meter or circuit breaker panel has been damaged by fire, a Technical Safety BC licensed electrician must perform a safety inspection before power can be reconnected.

FortisBC will require an affidavit from a Technical Safety BC licensed electrician.

If we need to turn natural gas off due to an emergency, we will first ensure the natural gas system is safe. Once complete, our crews will visit your home to relight your appliances.

If the service valve on your natural gas meter is turned to the off position, do not turn it on. If you have concerns with the natural gas system, or if you detect the rotten egg or sulphur smell of natural gas, leave your home immediately and call the FortisBC 24-hour natural gas emergency number at 1-800-663-9911.

Do not try to put natural gas appliances back in service yourself.

Do not use any gas appliances that have been damaged, until they have been thoroughly inspected by a Technical Safety BC registered gas contractor.