Damaged power poles can fall, bringing down live powerlines and causing blackouts (Photo: Ergon)

August 6, 2019

Firefighters and Ergon Energy have urged property owners to take extra precautions when conducting controlled burns near the electricity network.

Ergon safety adviser Kevin Hore said there were many hazards when power poles were damaged or destroyed by fire.

He said a damaged power pole could fall, causing injuries.

Fallen powerlines also pose a serious threat to people and livestock.

“Just as concerning is a pole that is only partially burnt because it could be significantly weakened and snap during high winds or storm activity at a later date, bringing down high-voltage wires,” Kevin said.

“Network damage from fires not only presents a significant danger for those in the immediate vicinity, it can also cut power to nearby residents for extended periods until it is safe for our restoration crews to enter the area.”

Rural Fire Service Assistant Commissioner John Bolger urged landholders to trim or clear any long grass, foliage and rubbish within a three metre radius of their electricity infrastructure and always stay while controlled burns were carried out.

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