Electrocuted eagle starts a fire in Metchosin

By Larissa Johnston, Times Colonist June 30, 2011

There’s a dead, charred eagle sitting in the Metchosin fire station after the bird struck power lines, caught on fire and started a fire in a field.

On Wednesday afternoon around 4 p.m., some Metchosin residents lost power after hearing an explosion.

The smell of smoke led them to a fire on Rocky Point Road near Happy Valley Road.

“Once I got the fire under control, that’s when I noticed the charred eagle,” said Capt. Eric Meredith, a Metchosin firefighter.


The bird was about .6 metres from its head to talons, he guessed, and the wings were completely black and burned.

The bird’s wings, which would span about two metres, touched two separate power lines at once, making a circuit, said Metchosin fire chief Stephanie Dunlop.

Nobody witnessed the eagle’s unfortunate event, but this could only have happened if the eagle touched both power lines at the same time, firefighters said.

Because eagles are a protected species, any remaining feathers would have gone to the local First Nations.

But because the bird “burnt to a crisp,” said Dunlop, it will simply be discarded.

“Birds are around power lines all the time. It’s just a freak chance.”


© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist





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