power pole fires in australia

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Houses without power as power poles catch fire

Source: AAP | Published: Sunday January 16, 12:13 PM

Homes were left without power south-west of Melbourne this morning after power poles caught fire following a week of extreme heat and drizzling rain.

'We had quite a big problem in Geelong and surrounding areas between 8am and 10 am this morning,' Powercor spokeswoman Mary Tate said.

'We've had nine different faults of feeders on nine main lines that resulted in pole fires,' she said.

About 22,000 customers lost power in Geelong and the surrounding coastal area and as far inland as Colac.

Some had power restored within an hour but at 11am 11,000 homes were still blacked out. They were not expected to be back on line until mid-afternoon.

Ms Tate said three crews and all other available resources were being used to reconnect homes.

'We've had very hot weather last week followed by drizzle that creates ideal conditions for those fires to occur.

'You get a build-up of salt from the combination of sea mist or light rain, which creates conditions for electricity to be conducted - and all that needs is a heat build-up,' Ms Tate said.

Although pole fires were not uncommon in coastal areas it was fairly unusual for such a wide area to be affected, she said.

She said Powercor tried to guard against the problem by installing steel arms on poles or by the installation of washing devices.

Powercor, a private power supplier, covers central western Victoria.

Ms Tate said the company wanted to particularly apologise to customers who were without power for more than an hour.

She said it took so long to reconnect them because the problem was so widespread.

Police were also reportedly kept busy with alarms systems wrongly set off by the power interruptions.

Meanwhile, another power failure disrupted traffic lights in the Frankston area.

Police have warned motorists to be cautious when using the intersection of McMahons Road and the Frankston railway line crossing.

-- boop (leafyspurge@hotmail.com), January 16, 2000


"Power poles catch fire in Australia; End-of-World nears."

-- abc (a@b.c), January 16, 2000.

So was the rain noncompliant, or was it embedded salt? This is a local problem but not Y2K.

-- JOHN (LITTMANJ@AOL.COM), January 16, 2000.

It's a wombat run amok

-- (ohno@mr.bill), January 16, 2000.

WOW!!!!! Like the power has NEVER gone out anywhere in the world before.... Now, I am truly scared!

-- winny the pooh (you_r@without.a clue.com), January 16, 2000.

Thanks for the post, Boop.

-- james hyde (hydesci@gte.net), January 16, 2000.

G'Day to the Americans,

It's easy to make light of this (OT?) report. Please note that the 1983 Ash Wednesday wildfires began at the powerpole in a grass paddock on Biscuit Flats in South Australia and 14 people died around my immediate area.
This tragic series of events over two dreadful days introduced mandatory electricity interruption procedures if situations arise to warrant shutdown. This is not funny, especially for rural Australia, but moreso in Victoria where electricity is brought to consumers via lines on timber poles.
In the event of a wild fire can the spotter planes fly on bad Avgas? Can the rescue helicopters fly? What about the fire bombers? What about the troubling digital communications annoying the hell out of emergency services in rural regions? (Is it Y2K OT?) Furthermore, the Yallourn branch of the union comprising power industry workers are striking. This is a developing situation holding to ransom the State of Victoria. Needless to say electricity supplying us comes from there.
Things that make you go hmmmmm?

Regards from Down Under in another heatwave day (106 Far.+/-)

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), January 16, 2000.


Thanks for the reality check for the insensitive respondents thus far!

Everytime I hear an article on Australia, my ears perk up for the word Victoria. I have read that guns were confiscated in this region, and have heard rumors that American troops were used for this dirty work in some locals because Aussie troops rightly refused. Can you verify the (il)legitimacy of these rumors?

If accurate, then that means Victoria is a stones throw ahead of California on the UN's declaration to disarm the masses. What happens in Victoria "today" tells us what might happen in California "tomorrow", and my town in Virginia "the day after".

Because of these nagging albeit unsubstantiated suspicions, I am deeply concerned about any threat to Victoria, especially the Victorian infrastructure.

You may be aware that the UN declares that if infrastructure instability runs the risk of cascading problems over one's border then it is justified at sending in UN troops to that region to minimize uh damage. This loophole, however remote, threatens any nation's sovereignty.

Can you comment on the gun confiscation in Australia? The Aussie press was superficial in their coverage. Was it total or partial disarmament? Will it be instituted in other regions? How are citizens reacting? If Victoria is rural, is their concern among persons in Victoria for their ability to defend their families and livestock from natural predators?

Sorry to be so long, I just have not had the opportunity to speek to an Australian about these events, and so only have had access to media accounts.

-- Hokie (Hokie_@hotmail.com), January 16, 2000.


I'll reply on Pieter's behalf re gun confiscation, just in case he doesn't see your question.

Firstly, they were not, strictly speaking, "confiscated", they were compulsorily purchased from the owners by the Government. This was financed by a one-off tax.

There was no military involvement whatsoever, neither by our military or yours. Firearms were taken to local police stations by the owners and surrendered, payment was made by cheque (US=check). From what I can see the payments were fair market value. If you didn't take it in, they didn't get your gun, lots of people buried theirs, I believe!

The only weapons affected were semi-autos of any type, including .22 rimfires and shotguns, and (I believe) pump actions. As I stated on a previous thread some months ago, a .577 nitro express double elephant rifle remains perfectly legal, as does a .22 bolt action or a 12 gauge over and under shotgun. Fully automatic and concealable weapons were always tightly controlled in this country.

The "buy back" as it was termed, was Australia-wide and was prompted by a Tasmanian mass murder (30+ victims?) by a millionaire psychopath called Martin Bryant, now serving life imprisonment in Tasmania's Risdon Jail. His fortune was confiscated to compensate victims.


-- Ron Davis (rdavis@ozemail.com.au), January 16, 2000.

Greetings Hokie et al,

Temperatures are falling with a seabreeze bringing a mild change. Phew!
A dispute at Yallourn Power Station has cut the state power supplies by 20%. The dispute could spread to other sites and see power restrictions by Tuesday.
(story www.news.com.au via Sunday Herald page 3)
Victoria, a Southern State in Australia, elected a Labor Party government recently. The Liberals and National Party were comprehensively rejected by the rural bush electorates.
The majority of Victorians voted in favor of an Australian Republic, and were the only State to do so. The other states voted to retain the British Monarchy as Head of State. It was a pathetic campaign from both sides of the debate, reinforcing my believe that all political machinations here are driven by many outside pressures that fail the ordinary person.
It seems that Californians are following the Australian gun buyback. The Australian gun buyback (automatic rifles/guns) was a reaction to the sad murder of innocent people at Port Arthur in Tasmania. The Australian Governments, Federal and State, used a surcharge medicare levy to raise funding for the buyback. They claim a successful return of most automatic weapons that were owned legally by citizens.
Needless to say we encourage the government to think like that, but that citizens remain well armed, albeit underground.
No American troops were invited to attend any party and I think this is probably a myth in support of wild allegations by vested interests stirring emotions. It pays to retain a cool head in future I think. Australians are savage with their ballot box votes with wildly erratic swings being the norm.
The Australian gun buyback has resulted in an unexpected increase of actual gun ownership. Here in our rural province the nightly TV news reports on all gunsports with visual. The attention of family gun sporting activity is higher than ever and I think you Yankees have to get focussed to do well at the next Olympics in Sydney.
Regarding the media coverage of everything to date I can but only say that their quality of reporting is rather ordinary. Gargage in Garbage out I suppose.
Regards from Oz

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), January 16, 2000.

Hokie the Virginian,

With the run-on formatting of my earlier post you may have missed my point.

The career politician down here hasn't been forgiven for dissembling bush infrastructure and their shoddy conduct with gun buybacks. It influenced the Victorian election result and some politician wish they never had tampered with of it.

Many of them are unemployed and unemployable now.

Our revenge is to support gun sports, including pistol ranges, impact, trap, field and game, gundogs, licensed hunting, paintball and many more.

As an example here in South Australia the Democrats campaigned to halt and ban paintball. They were challenged very publicly and will get trouble at the ballot box. Our revenge also is seen in a paintball field opened with fan-fare right in a major regional centre, in the heart of Mount Gambier. This is a feature tourism attraction and any regional politician blinking it will get booted out next election.

Hope this makes you day!


PS We're proud of the local lads who are qualifying for the Olympic squad.

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), January 17, 2000.

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