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Thousands left without power after poles catch fire across the state

More than 50,000 homes and businesses were left without power and firefighters have been kept busy after more than 80 pole fires across Western Australia this morning. 

Western Power says they are still working to restore more than 20,000 properties after Perth’s overnight weather front caused damage to several poles. 

“We are dealing with around 100 poles, in various locations throughout the metro area that have been damaged through humidity and moisture,” Western Power said. 

“Crews in the metropolitan area and north to Kalbarri who were scheduled to complete other planned work have been directed where possible to repair the damage.

“Our priority is to make all affected areas safe and then restore power as quickly as possible.”

The Western Power website states that pole top fires happen when there are consistent hot, dry, and windy days followed by a sudden cold front.

When the humidity and light rain combine with dust built up on the insulators, it results in tracks of dirt that causes the electricity to spark and may lead to the metal fixtures heating to the point of fire. 

Firefighters were called to multiple pole fires throughout the night and into the morning. 

In some cases, they were unable to extinguish the blaze straight away as they had to wait for electricity to be cut to the area. 

Thursday mornings Western Power outages map. Photo: Western Power.

Wester Power encourages people impacted to check the website’s outages map for updates and information. 

“We recognise it is frustrating to read the message ‘Restoration time: unknown’. An unknown restoration time message can arise when there is extensive damage to the network, generally caused by a major incident such as a storm, and our crews are attending to many faults,” Western Power said. 

“When there are many faults in a suburb, repair work on one fault may return power to some customers, but not others. Therefore it is not possible to give an estimated restoration time for [that] suburb.” 

If you see a fallen power line, call Western Power on the emergency 24/7 number 13 13 51.

Multiple roads have been closed as crews work to restore power and make the area safe. 

For road closures and information head over to the Main Roads website here: mainroadstravelmap.

Tex Reeks

Texas (Tex) Reeks is a video journalist and national award-winning news photographer. Reeks' dedication and commitment to local news media and telling stories has seen him build an extensive portfolio in Western Australia's news industry from a young age. Writing online stories and covering news events for Perth's mainstream media networks, Reeks, has covered and broken some of WA's biggest breaking news stories including shark attacks, police manhunts, plane crashes, major crime investigations, and major political incidents. Reeks' interest and knowledge in criminology and policing results in his focus on crime and court stories.
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