Ergon Energy Network and firies urge extra caution when hazard reduction burning near power assets

Published: 28 Jul 2022 12:22pm

With a very wet first half of 2022, many Queensland property owners will spend the coming months targeting excess vegetation for hazard reduction burning.

This activity has spurred a safety message from Energex/Ergon and firefighters encouraging anyone conducting hazard reduction burns to be acutely aware of electricity assets and keep any flames well away from them.

Ergon Energy Network Work Group Leader Chris Pell warns that any fire damage to power assets can cause a series of obvious and hidden safety issues for the property owner and wider community.

“Hazard reduction burns are great for preventing future fire issues, however, if they get out of control, particularly around power poles and other assets on the electrical network, a much more serious safety issue could ensue,” Mr Pell said.

“If a power pole is burnt down it may not only drop powerlines onto people or livestock, it could also cut power to an entire district for extended periods.

“Just as troubling is a power pole that’s only partially burnt because it will be significantly weakened and potentially snap during high winds or storm activity without warning.

“We’re also encouraging property owners with a privately owned network on their land to have a licensed electrical contractor inspect it for any safety issues before fire and storm season arrives in the coming months.”

Rural Fire Service (RFS) Assistant Commissioner John Bolger said taking precautions before carrying out hazard reduction burns could significantly minimise the risk of damaging assets and important infrastructure.

“I urge landholders to be aware of their surrounds and remain vigilant to ensure you, your family and your property are kept safe while conducting any bushfire mitigation work,” he said.

“To minimise the chances of fire damaging power poles and property, I would encourage property owners to trim or clear long grass, foliage and rubbish within a three-metre radius of any electricity infrastructure and to keep watch over controlled burns they carry out.

“If your council area is not currently drought declared, dampening the cleared three metre radius with water can also reduce the chances of accidental damage to property.

“It is important to note that it is illegal to leave any controlled burn unattended, and permits must be obtained from your local Fire Warden before you light up.

“For more information around bushfire preparedness head to ruralfire.qld.gov.au.”

In the event of a fire always dial triple zero.

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