Australia's devastating Bush fires
New Delhi: Australia situated in southern hemisphere, so in time there are wether of summer, so that Austraila troubled from bush fire. Currentally Energy Minister Peter Collier said the collapse of a single phase power line was the likely cause of the fires, which destroyed 38 homes, injured four people and resulted in tens of millions of dollars in property damage on Tuesday night. The fires, which burnt out thousands of hectares around the small wheatbelt town of Toodyay, 85km north of Perth, wreaked more damage on property than any other WA bushfire in the past 50 years. State energy utility Western Power conceded the fire may have been sparked by one of its power lines. In a statement released last night, Western Power managing director Doug Aberle said “initial investigations indicate that the fire originated in the vicinity of power lines”. He said the fire burnt 120 poles and 55 transformers. Mr Collier said an investigation over the next fortnight would determine whether the fallen power line had caused the fire and whether Western Power could face civil charges over the fire. “If it was the cause, we will also investigate why it happened,” Mr Collier told Fairfax Radio Network. Several bushfires in recent years in WA have been blamed on fallen power lines, including two incidents in which people died. Twenty-six-year-old schoolteacher Michelle Mack was killed near Toodyay in 2007 after two power lines clashed and caused a bushfire. Ms Mack died when her car rolled as she attempted to escape the blaze and she was thrown from the vehicle. No blame was apportioned, and EnergySafety, WA's energy industry safety regulator, was unable to say why the two power lines had clashed. Western Power was fined $17,500 in 2005 after fallen power lines were found to have caused the bushfire that killed Judith Ward, 59, and Lorraine Melia, 46, near the Albany Highway, in the state's southwest, in December 2003. Mr Collier said the poles in the Toodyay area had been inspected in May 2007 and no maintenance work was deemed necessary. “If that's the case, and they were inspected, and in fact they were responsible for the fire ... what we need to do is determine exactly whether the maintenance program is sufficient, is adequate,” he said. He said the inquiries would seek to determine whether Western Power had been negligent in its maintenance of power poles. Mr Aberle said it could be several days before power was restored to the area but pledged a thorough investigation into the cause of the blaze. The Fire and Emergency Services Authority said the fire caused “the biggest loss of homes in a bushfire incident in WA over the past 50 years”. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, while a Toodyay resident was treated for burns at Royal Perth Hospital. No lives were lost but fires at Toodyay and Badgingarra, further north, destroyed more than 13,500 hectares of land. FESA spokesman Alan Gale said authorities would continue to mop up while residents were returning to their properties after roadblocks were lifted from 10.30pm. “There will still be heat in some of those buildings,” Mr Gale said. “It's not the time to go sifting through the remains and the debris, it's time to see what the situation is and make an assessment.”
WA Premier Colin Barnett declared the area a natural disaster zone and offered a $3000 government hand-out to locals affected by the fire.