Large fires burning adjacent to or under high voltage transmission lines have the potential to:
- Create electrical arcs (known as ‘flashovers’) that can endanger people, animals and objects.
- Damage or destroy the wires, insulators and supports of the transmission line.
- Interrupt electricity supply to households and industry
A growing list of Moorabool CFA firefighting groups say they will not tackle blazes near a proposed electrical transmission line across the Shire.
Leaders at brigades in Coimadai, Myrniong, Ballan, Blackwood, Mt Wallace, Wallace, Millbrook and Bungaree and Leonards Hill have written to Premier Daniel Andrews and CFA Chief Officer Garry Cook saying any blazes near the overhead powerlines would place their lives at excessive risk.
“(We) will not respond to fires on, above or around the proposed 500kV high voltage lines,” they said in their letters.
“(This is) due to the high risk as well as the unknown hazards working around this type of infrastructure.”
The extreme bushfire risk along with difficult to access terrain within the AoI amplifies the risks with fighting fires in this corridor. Aplified risk to firefighting = amplified risk to lives and properties.
Fires burning near or beneath transmission lines in the AoI will endanger people, animals and homes.
The Black Saturday wildfires, in 2009, were one of Australia’s worst recent natural disasters, claiming 173 lives and destroying thousands of homes across Victoria state. SP AusNet Ltd. , an Australian power-transmission company, agreed with a handful of other parties to pay people affected by the bushfire in Kilmore East—north of Melbourne—a combined 494.7 million Australian dollars in compensation. While agreeing to the settlement, SP AusNet continues to deny liability for the bushfire, claiming the power line was damaged previously by lightning in a way that made it more susceptible to falling, but that was also impossible to detect.