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Fire and powerlines

Fires burning underneath or near powerlines can endanger people, animals and objects, and have the potential to interrupt electricity supply.

Report all fires near powerlines

If you see a fire burning underneath or near a powerline and property or lives are at risk, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

All fires underneath or near a powerline should be reported to us as soon as possible by calling
13 16 70, even if you are unsure what risk they pose.

Before planning any activities involving fire near powerlines

Seek our advice and approval as early as possible before undertaking any activity involving fire near our powerlines by calling 13 74 66.

Early notification can ensure an appropriate response is taken if the fire should cause a fault on the network.

Safety advice for fires near powerlines

For your safety, when there is a fire close to a powerline remember:

  • Keep personnel, vehicles and attachments at least 25 metres from the powerline.
  • Electricity, especially at high voltages, can ‘jump’ across several metres of air gap. This means that direct contact with the high voltage powerline is not required to produce a potentially fatal event.
  • Smoke can act as a conductor. Fires burning on or near powerline easements can greatly increase the chances of a flashover occurring.
  • Don’t count on rubber tyres on vehicles to stop a flashover from occurring.
  • Powerlines can sag lower in times of high demand, high temperature and fires, reducing the ground clearance.
  • Don’t stockpile, windrow or heap combustible material under high voltage powerlines.
  • Exercise caution if using powerline easements to access fire locations, as readymade firebreaks, as a break from which to commence back-burning operations, or as a refuge area in a firestorm.
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