This document provides an overview of wildfire behavior, transmission line industry experience with wildfire, and damage inspection methodologies for common transmission line materials. A framework for owners to assess the risk of wildfire based on vegetation conditions, line configuration, line importance and other factors is provided as an asset management tool.

Value to Electric Cooperatives

High voltage transmission lines traverse a wide variety of terrain and environments. Many are exposed to some degree of wildfire risk, which can adversely affect various transmission line components and, ultimately, system reliability. Wildfires can affect transmission components in different ways. Intense heat, flame impingement and soot deposition have the potential to ignite or damage support structures, hardware and insulators. Smoke and flame induced line faults similarly degrade overall system reliability. All of these factors increase operational expenses in the form of facility replacement and/or repair, lost revenue, replacement energy costs and degraded public perception.


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