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Hydro One crews rebuilding hydro line after Northwestern Ontario forest fire destroys 80 poles over a 13 Km stretch of line

Jul 13, 2011

TORONTO, July 13, 2011 /CNW/ - Hydro One crews are working to rebuild more than 80 hydro poles destroyed by a devastating forest fire in Northwestern Ontario, 90 kilometres north of Ear Falls. The fire has caused severe damage to a section of Hydro One's transmission line and affected more than 600 local residents.

Customers affected by the fire live in communities including Slate Falls, Cat Lake, Mishkeegogamang and Pickle Lake. The reconstruction is expected to take until Monday, July 18, 2011.

Hydro One crews were able to access a section of the damaged hydro corridor yesterday after the Ministry of Natural Resources determined it was safe to do so. More than 80 lines staff and other support personnel began reconstruction today. The Company had already assembled crews and equipment near the site and surveyed the site by helicopter so restoration could begin as soon as it was safe to do so. Crews will now rebuild 80 structures destroyed by the fire and a further 40 which were seriously damaged along a 13 km stretch of the hydro line.

"We're on the site rebuilding dozens of our structures lost to the fire, with a goal of energizing the rebuilt line section as soon as possible," said Myles D'Arcey, Senior Vice President, Customer Operations. Power is expected to be restored to all residents by Monday, barring any changes in the wind or weather.

Hydro One crews are working closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources to ensure the safety of all personnel.  It is expected that weather conditions combined with fire fighting efforts will allow Hydro One crews to continue advancing along the Right of Way as structures are replaced.

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Hydro One delivers electricity safely, reliably and responsibly to homes and businesses across the province of Ontario and owns and operates Ontario's 29,000 km high-voltage transmission network that delivers electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, and a 123,000 km low-voltage distribution system that serves about 1.3 million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. Hydro One is wholly owned by the Province of Ontario.

For further information:

contact Hydro One Media Relations 24 hours a day at 1-877-506-7584 (toll-free in Ontario only) or 416-345-6868. Our website is