ELECTRICITY consumers in the Gympie region and neighbouring areas have been warned of possible power supply problems today, as hazardous bushfire conditions threaten electricity distribution infrastructure.

This followed power outages affecting more than 1000 Cooloola Coast households and businesses for more than four hours yesterday afternoon, after an equipment failure at Tin Can Bay.

A Queensland Rural Fire Service spokeswoman said fire danger was rated as severe over most of South East Queensland, including the Wide Bay and South East coastal regions.

An incident control centre has been set up in the Gympie Fire Station today, with extra crews on standby, Gympie fire station officer Justin Groth said.

FORECAST HERE: Heatwave to cook Gympie region

Extremely high temperatures and hot and gusty westerly winds have driven the threat, he said.

“We’ve put up two centres in the region – with additional resources for the area,” he said.

Yesterday’s Cooloola Coast blackouts were a random occurrence attributed to an insulator failure at the Tin Can Bay substation, an Energex spokesman said.

Lights, fridges, electric stoves, compressors, air conditioners and other equipment suddenly stopped working at 12.27pm for 1287 consumers at Tin Can Bay, Cooloola Cove and Rainbow Beach.

Although strong winds were experienced at the coast, this had nothing to do with the blackout, the spokesman said.

Insulators were known to sometimes keep functioning even when damaged and to fail for no immediate apparent reason, he said.

Today, the power authority is on alert for fires which may affect power supply infrastructure.

Gympie Times


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