Firefighters set up at temporarily out-of-service Upper Lillooet Hydro Project


BC Wildfire Service personnel have been using the project construction camp for the Upper Lillooet hydro project as a base to fight the so-called Boulder Creek Fire.

A forest fire swept through the region the weekend of July 4. All personnel were safely evacuated from the site, which comprises the 25.3-MW Boulder Creek and 81.4-MW Upper Lillooet River hydroelectric projects owned by Innergex Renewable Energy.

The Boulder Creek fire was ignited by lightning on June 30 and spread to more than 12,000 hectares, reaching the area of the construction site on July 5.

Firefighters had access to the site beginning the evening of July 22, to reduce travel time to fight the fire. Setting up at the site also allowed personnel to have access to reliable telephone and Internet service, sources indicate.

An order was issued July 23 designating areas around the project as restricted, with no entry allowed without prior written authorization of an official designated for the purposes of the Wildfire Act. This order remains in force until either Sept. 8 or the order is rescinded, whichever occurs first.

The two run-of-river projects are located on Crown land in British Columbia.

Each facility will divert partial flows through an intake structure directly into a tunnel and/or penstock to the turbine(s) and generating equipment located in each separate powerhouse. Electricity generated will be transmitted via a single 230-kV line connected to the BC Hydro transmission system.

According to the Upper Lilloeet Hydro Project website, “BC Wildfire Services and Innergex are working together to identify safe areas where construction activities could be reactivated in a phased manner in the coming weeks.”

Innergex Renewable Energy develops, owns and operates run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, and solar photovoltaic farms in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, Canada, as well as Idaho in the U.S.

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