Internet, cellular service outage in British Columbia blamed on beaver

Utility officials in British Columbia said a beaver was responsible for an outage that affected a small number of power customers and a large number of Internet, landline and cellular customers.

Bob Gammer of BC Hydro said an aspen tree fell on BC Hydro lines and a Telus fiber-optic cable line strung from BC Hydro poles in the area between Topley and Houston.

The tree caused 21 customers to lose power and hundreds of Telus customers to lose Internet, landline and cellular service in Burns Lake, Granisle, Haida Gwaii, the Hazeltons, Kitimat, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace, Thornhill, Houston, Topley, Telkwa, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof.

Gammer said workers found chew marks at the bottom of the felled tree and determined it had been toppled by a beaver.

“It’s unusual, but it does happen every once in a while,” Gammer told CTV News. “So I wouldn’t be a rich man if I had a nickel for every beaver outage, but they do happen.”

The tree caught fire when it came into contact with the lines, and the flames were extinguished by the Topley Volunteer Fire Department.

Telus services were restored after about eight hours.

Officials said there were no indications that the beaver had been harmed in the incident.