A storm that caused a spectacular lightning show over the region on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning caused a fire at Carwoola and left more than 12,000 people in Queanbeyan and surrounds without power.
Three tankers were sent to investigate the fire suspected of being caused by a lightning strike at Carwoola on Tuesday night.
Residents from across the region are being urged to keep an eye out for any signs of smoke over the coming days as lightning strikes can cause sparks that don’t ignite for days, a NSW RFS spokesman said.
A helicopter was expected to take flight on Wednesday to inspect the Canberra and Queanbeyan region for any fires ignited by the strikes.
A spokesman for NSW Rural Fire Service Lake George Zone said the fire at Carwoola, near Wanna Wanna Road, proved difficult to access however firefighters investigating the site believed any fire that was initially ignited was subsequently put out by rain.
“Rain appears to have contained the fire so we are monitoring it and are sending another unit and possibly an aerial response team out today to ensure that the fire is extinguished,” the spokesman said on Wednesday.
The storm also caused more than 12,000 Essential Energy customers to lose power.
The unplanned outage affected residents in Jerrabomberra, Oaks Estate, Queanbeyan, Gundaroo, Sutton, Bywong, Bungendore and surrounds.
An Essential Energy spokeswoman said network protection equipment activated at about 10.30pm to isolate supply to the area, after detecting a fault on the high voltage electricity network.
The spokeswoman said crews were dispatched to find the fault, which was caused by a lightning strike that had damaged powerlines in the Sutton area.
“Attending crews secured the safety of the site, isolated the damaged section of powerline, re-routed power around the network and began back-feeding to progressively restore supply to the majority of customers by 11.50pm. Supply was restored to all customers by 1am.”
Essential Energy acting regional manager southern, Greg White, reminds the public to stay at least eight metres away from damaged or fallen powerlines.
“Always treat powerlines as live and remember that anything in contact with them, such as cars, trees or fences, can conduct electricity and pose a danger,” Mr White said.
“Residents should contact Essential Energy on 13 20 80 to report fallen powerlines, network damage, fires or trees that come into contact with powerlines or call Triple-0 if the situation is life threatening.”
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