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Freezing rain sparks power pole fires in Calgary

April 4, 2013, Calgary – Repair crews were scrambling in Calgary after freezing drizzle overnight sparked power pole fires and outages in several areas of the city.

April 4, 2013
By The Canadian Press

April 4, 2013, Calgary – Repair crews were scrambling in Calgary after freezing drizzle overnight sparked power pole fires and outages in several areas of the city.

Firefighters had to deal with a number of fires and downed lines, while traffic and street lights were also affected in many areas.

Doris Kaufmann-Woodcock, a spokeswoman for Enmax, says thousands of customers were affected by the outages.

Kaufmann-Woodcock says a salt buildup on the poles from winter road maintenance reacts with the drizzle, which causes a short-circuit and a fire.

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She says the city's north side was affected the most, and that in some cases the poles will have to be replaced.

The drizzle is also believed to have been responsible for a number of traffic accidents during the morning commute in the Calgary region.