Western Power is still scrambling to fix dangerous powerlines a year after the drooping cables were blamed for a devastating blaze near Wickepin that burnt through thousands of hectares and put lives at risk. The race to repair the potentially dangerous lines comes during a bushfire season that has already claimed 18 homes in Perth’s northern suburbs and is tipped to be one of the worst in recent memory. The Wickepin fire — which tore through 18,000ha and killed hundreds of sheep — was caused by loose powerlines that swayed in windy conditions and caused sparks to fall when they hit each other. The sparks caused the dry grass below to catch fire. A large-scale audit of the Western Power network in the aftermath of that blaze identified 73 sites in south-west WA as needing work. In mid-November last year the WA director of Energy Safety ordered for it to be completed before the end of 2023. But the speed of the program has been slammed by Liberal MP Steve Martin, who recently pressed Commerce Minister Sue Ellery on its progress, saying the sagging lines posed “unacceptable risk to the community”. He was told 44 lines had been fixed leaving six weeks for the rest to be completed. A State Government spokesperson told The West Australian on Monday that a further 23 lines had been fixed since, but time is running out for the remaining six to be repaired. “We are advised that the director is monitoring the progress of work and he is satisfied with the progress so far,” the spokesperson said. “This is consistent with the program of works put forward by Western Power.” Mr Martin also pressed Ms Ellery on where the dodgy lines were but was told that could not be revealed until after court proceedings against Western Power in relation to the Wickepin fire had concluded. “The location of each powerline cannot be revealed because the director is legally not able to disclose information he obtained in the course of duty, except in some specific circumstances,” the spokesperson explained. “Releasing this information may also affect current court proceedings. “We understand the concerns regarding bushfires and urge that everyone creates a bushfire plan, listen to emergency advice, and look after each other.” Mr Martin said regional communities in the south west had a right to know the details of such an important safety issue.