Trim­ming trees key to re­duc­ing bush­fire risk

Tasmanian Country - - ADVERTISING FEATURE -

WITH the Tas­ma­nian bush­fire sea­son ex­pected to start early, TasNet­works is en­cour­ag­ing farm­ers to pre­pare their prop­er­ties now.

One com­mon safety risk is trees grow­ing too close to pow­er­lines.

Trees fall­ing on pow­er­lines can cut out elec­tric­ity sup­ply and po­ten­tially leave wires on the ground.

TasNet­works bush­fire mit­i­ga­tion man­ager Michael Em­mett said farm­ers could pre­pare their prop­er­ties by phys­i­cally check­ing veg­e­ta­tion such as trees.

“Veg­e­ta­tion should be at least 3m away from pow­er­lines,” Mr Em­mett said. “It is prefer­able that trees are pre­vented from en­ter­ing the con­tact zone of power lines.

“It is very im­por­tant, hownurs­ery DAN­GER ZONE: Trees or branches fall­ing on pow­er­lines are a fire risk. Bare pow­er­lines lead­ing to homes or pri­vate pow­er­lines can be in­su­lated to re­duce risk Over­head pow­e­lines can be re­placed with un­der­ground ca­bles Con­sider plant­ing tree species that will not ex­ceed 3m in height ever, that farm­ers do not at­tempt to trim trees them­selves if they are al­ready within 3m of a pow­er­line,” Mr Em­mett said.

“Farm­ers should hire an au­tho­rised con­trac­tor to re­move any veg­e­ta­tion grow­ing too close.”

TasNet­works en­cour­ages farm­ers to con­sider the height and type of veg­e­ta­tion they choose to plant on their prop­erty.

Se­lect­ing species that do not im­pact on nearby pow­er­lines is the best op­tion and a gar­den is an ex­cel­lent source of in­for­ma­tion.

“Bush­fires can cost lives, hurt com­mu­ni­ties and cause mil­lions of dol­lars of dam­age to pri­vate prop­erty and elec­tri­cal in­fra­struc­ture. They also have a se­vere im­pact on the re­li­a­bil­ity of power sup­ply,” Mr Em­mett said.

“While it is im­por­tant farm­ers en­sure veg­e­ta­tion on their prop­er­ties is clear of pow­er­lines all year round, the bush­fire sea­son is a timely re­minder for farm­ers to recheck prop­er­ties for any new growth.”

TasNet­works is ask­ing for peo­ple to help iden­tify veg­e­ta­tion that could po­ten­tially pose a safety risk.

Any­one spot­ting trees or veg­e­ta­tion too close or a risk of branches fall­ing on pow­er­lines is urged to con­tact TasNet­works. In case of emer­gency or to re­port faults call 132 004.

For more de­tails visit www.tasnet­works.

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