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Protect Poles From Fire: Ergon

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September 10, 2012

Bushfires, burning off and wooden power poles just don’t mix …

Last financial year, Ergon Energy field crews responded to 189 bushfires and burning off incidents across regional Queensland in which 289 power poles were destroyed.

Ergon Manager Regional Services Craig Harris said there was an abundance of on-ground fuel because of the favourable wet seasons in recent years.

“Over the past few years, the impact of bush fires on our organisation has been significant and, apart from the obvious increased safety issues and costs involved, there is also the added inconvenience placed on the community through unnecessary disruption to the power supply,” he said.

Ergon Energy has more than one million power poles across regional Queensland.

More than 2000 customers have lost power through fire-related interruptions in Wide Bay and South West Queensland in the past 14 months, equating to more than 600,000 minutes that customers were without power.

“Another important factor to consider is that pole fires pose a potentially serious safety risk to the community,” Mr Harris said.

“Obviously, when a pole is burnt down, the power lines are brought down as well and this is something we are very concerned about from a public safety perspective.”

If you are intending to burn off:

  • Ensure you have a permit, the conditions are favourable and adhere to all permit conditions.
  • Heed all fire bans.
  • Clear around any power poles that may be on your property that could be set alight during a burn off.
  • If you see a pole alight, advise Ergon Energy and the fire authorities by dialling 000. Only attempt to put the fire out if it is safe to do and the fire is contained to the lower base area of the pole.

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