ARARAT - Over five and a half thousand properties were left without power on Tuesday after a series of pole fires across Ararat.
Operations Officer with the Country Fire Authority, Ian Morley said multiple calls were made to 000 around 1am.
"The Ararat brigade responded to the calls with three trucks, two vehicles and 25 crew," he said.
"They were kept very busy for at least the next hour extinguishing the pole fires in a number of locations across town."
Mr Morley said the pole fires caused major concerns in four locations.
"We had one at Vincent and Palmerston Street, another outside Harvey Norman in Vincent Street, a third at Barkly Street and George Road and a fourth also in George Road," he said.
The string of pole fires led to a number of power outages across town.
Spokesman for Powercor Drew Douglas said there were three separate mass outages.
"Following the first incident, 1,442 residents were left without power after a pole fire," he said.
"Power was returned to these properties shortly after 8am."
In the second instance, a pole fire in George Road left a further 2,289 people without power.
In the third outage 1,936 properties were left in the dark with power not restored until 11.30am.
The almost three thousand other customers didn't see a restoration in their power until the middle of the afternoon.
This meant at some stage during the hours of Tuesday morning over two thirds of Ararat was in the dark with approximately 5,667 residents or businesses affected.
There were also outages experienced in Great Western, Lake Bolac, Moyston, Willaura and Crowlands.
Mr Douglas said when an event such as Monday night occurs an investigation needs to take place before any repairs can be made, prolonging the length of time residents are left without power.
"When we suspect, as in this case, that a high voltage injection is the cause of power loss we need to carry out inspections," he said.
"This is a safety precaution so our crews can work to establish the cause and replace the damaged equipment before it is turned back on.
"We know these investigations can take some time and really appreciate customers' patience."
Mr Morley said the pole fires occurred due to the current atmospheric conditions.
"What happens when it is so dry for so long, like it has been recently, dust and debris accumulates on top of the insulators of the power poles," he said.
"We had a brief period of moisture in the air, a shower of rain overnight Monday, not enough to wash the dust and debris away but cause the power lines to begin arcing and power poles to catch fire."