A growing number of calls involving homeowners and contractors hitting natural gas lines while digging has led to Thunder Bay Fire Rescue now charging to respond to this type of call.

If a homeowner or contractor has not requested a locate, and a gas line is severed or damaged, Fire Rescue will charge the current MTO Rate for each response vehicle that is sent to the specific call. The current fee is $543.03 per hour, per vehicle.

It’s the law for homeowners and contractors to have a utility line locate completed before digging starts for any project. Thunder Bay Fire Rescue asks all homeowners and contractors to comply with the requirement to call before you dig.

“When locates aren’t requested it causes a delay in the repair of the gas line,” said Fire Chief Greg Hankkio. “When a line is broken, another locate needs to be done so other utilities aren’t disrupted. It’s also an unnecessary use of emergency services.”

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responded to eight calls of hitting a gas line within the past 18 months. Every one of these calls could have been prevented if a utility line locate was completed.

To request a locate, Ontario One Call should be contacted a minimum of five business days before digging starts. Visit OntarioOneCall.ca or phone (800) 400-2255. Homeowners and contractors are asked to wait for the utilities to complete their locates before starting any work.

Homeowners and contractors should also locate any private underground infrastructure before digging, and backfill any areas after the project is complete. 

For more information on safe digging for homeowners, visit: www.enbridgegas.com/en/safety/before-you-dig  



Contact: Greg Hankkio - Fire Chief, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, 807-621-7570, greg.hankkio@thunderbay.ca