Dry ground pulls power boxes from homes in Regina, causes six fires
REGINA — There was a popping sound like fireworks, yellow sparks and a plume of black smoke as a power meter caught fire at a home in Regina.
Provincial utility company SaskPower says the fire Monday night was the sixth power meter to ignite in the city in the last two weeks because parched soil is causing the ground to shift. ``When we saw the first one, it was very unusual,’’ Sask-Power spokesman Jonathan Tremblay said Tuesday. ``We sometimes see this type of ground shift damage. It’s usually not this bad, and very rarely do we see something with a fire being caused — maybe once or twice in the past decade.’’ Tremblay said the ground is pulling away from homes because of extremely dry weather and taking the meters along with it. Environment Canada figures show Regina had only 1.8 millimetres of rain last month — the driest July in 130 years.
Tremblay said there’s occasionally some shifting in the spring, especially the clay parts of the province. However, he said that shifting goes back and forth.