Inquiry into cause of power pole fire

A Network Waitaki linesman (right)  disconnects electricity from a power line on the Weston...
A Network Waitaki linesman (right) disconnects electricity from a power line on the Weston-Ngapara road yesterday so firefighters from the Weston Fire Brigade can fight a fire. Photo by David Bruce.

The cause of a power pole fire that spread to vegetation on the outskirts of Weston yesterday is being investigated.

The pole was on the 33kV line from the Weston substation, beside the Weston-Ngapara road where it crosses over the 11,000V line from the Weston township that supplies Ngapara and parts of Enfield and Kia Ora.

The Weston Fire Brigade sent an appliance and tanker with eight firefighters to the fire on the Weston-Ngapara road about 10.30am, but could only stop it from spreading after Network Waitaki cut the electricity, Chief Fire Officer Bevan Koppert said.

Once the electricity had been cut, the firefighters could go to work to extinguish the blaze.

The brigade was there for three hours before the fire was out, Mr Koppert said.

Network Waitaki network manager David Paterson said it would not be known what had caused the fire in the wooden pole until the crossbar was examined. There was a plantation and other vegetation around it which could have contributed.

Power was cut to about 200 consumers when linesmen isolated the two lines.

By switching feeds to other lines, the bulk of consumers were reconnected within 15 to 20 minutes and the rest in 50 minutes.

The fire-damaged pole was being replaced yesterday.

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