Farmers reminded of stubble burning risk to power supplies
Release Date: 18 April 2012
Farmers are being reminded during stubble burning season to take care of power poles on their property to avoid burning wooden poles and affecting power supplies to their and neighbouring properties.
Western Power and WAFarmers today issued tips in how to prevent poles burning during stubble burning season.
Western Power's Country Services Branch Manager Mr Dennis Smith said stubble burning had already damaged a number of poles in the Mid West.
"While farmers are mostly aware of the need to clear vegetation around power poles, dampen poles before stubble burning and check them afterwards, they still need to remain vigilant.
"These fires can smoulder for days before catching alight and burning down the pole."
Western Power has recently replaced more than 10 power poles in the Mid West, due to stubble burning. The average replacement cost for each pole is between $4000-5000, which can be passed on to the farmer.
"Farmers should soak power poles before and after burning, especially steel reinforced wooden poles because the stubble often gets caught behind the steel and the wood pole can smoulder for days."
"When poles burn down, it can affect power supplies for a number of hours while Western Power crews replace poles and re-string wires." Mr Smith said.
The WAFarmers President Dale Park said it was important for farmers to take care when stubble burning.
"Taking a few simple precautions, such as checking fires regularly for problems, and paying attention to weather conditions, can prevent damage to poles and help farmers avoid the unnecessary costs for repairs," Mr Park said.
Farmers requiring more information about precautions for stubble burning can contact Western Power on 13 10 87.
- Check to see if there are any powerlines and power poles on your property;
- If there are poles, clear any vegetation around the base of the poles by at least 1.5 metres;
- Do not rake wind-rows beneath or adjacent to powerlines or poles;
- Wet pole bases thoroughly to avoid accidental combustion;
- Check local fire warnings and avoid stubble burning when conditions are not suitable;
- Check fires regularly to make sure they are not causing problems, and
- If, despite these precautions, poles are damaged; immediately contact Western Power fault and emergency line on 13 13 51
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