Dry ground pulls power boxes from homes in Regina, causes six fires

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

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,’’ SaskPower 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.

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