Small Fire Around Old Sterling Power Pole Quickly Extinguished

Power was out for residents from Diamond Ridge to the Old Sterling Highway for about an hour on Monday afternoon. The incident, which took place on the Old Sterling, also caused a small fire.

The outage started just after 2:30 p.m. and affected about 630 Homer Electric customers.

Old Sterling Highway HEA Power Pole Fire - Photo by John Getty
Old Sterling Highway HEA Power Pole Fire – Photo by John Getty

HEA spokesperson Joe Gallagher says the outage was caused by the failure of an insulator on a power pole. Insulators protect the poles from the heat of the power lines. The failure caused some sparking on the pole which lit a small fire around it.

“When HEA crews arrived at the pole, they were able to see there was a small fire burning at the pole. We quickly made contact with emergency services. The Division of Forestry arrived along with the Anchor Point Fire Department. They quickly extinguished the fire. It never really amounted to much.”

Gallagher says the furthest the fire got away from the pole was about 25 feet before it was extinguished.

“Our guys were able to go right back in afterwards and make some repairs to the power pole. We had power back on at 3:45.”

He says HEA is prepared for the unexpected, but this unseasonally warm and dry weather warrants some extra caution. There was no additional damage reported and no injuries.

“With this weather we’re experiencing right now, it’s very nice out and very warm, but it’s extremely dry. We’re all very well aware of the fire danger that exists right now.”

The Kenai Peninsula is under a burn suspension until conditions change.