Horizon Power has identified more than 100 electricity poles that have burned down in the Esperance region following aerial patrols conducted earlier today.
Due to the fact fires are still burning out of control, Horizon Power will be unable to inspect power poles and lines in the worst affected areas until later tomorrow.
As of 3 pm 165 customers remain without power in the Salmon Gums, Grass Patch and Scaddan areas. We were able to restore power to more than 300 customers earlier today in the Dalyup and Munglinup areas.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives or been injured as a result of these fires.
Horizon Power will fly an additional four to five crews in to Esperance over night to assist in the restoration effort once the all clear is given by DFES.
Our crews were given approval to enter the Cascades area this afternoon and from about 4 pm work will begin on the replacement of four power poles burned down there. Once that work is complete, power will be restored to a further 24 customers.
General Manager NIS Business Craig Julian said he expected up to 200 poles had been lost to the fires and Horizon Power was fully prepared with crews and equipment to begin the restoration work as soon as crews were allowed into those areas.
“We expect the damage to our assets in the bush fire affected areas to be significant and it could be several days before we can restore power to those areas where poles and wires have been burned down,” he said.
Western Power has provided Horizon Power with a helicopter which will patrol the remaining parts of the network later today and tomorrow.
If the wind changes and the fires change direction, Horizon Power may be required to turn off power to customers in at risk areas. We are working very closely with emergency services to ensure the safety of our customers, our staff and the community.
Please stay clear of all electrical assets, in particular fallen powerlines. Call 13 23 51 to report a fault.
For media queries, please call the medialine 1800 799 745.