Wildfires continue to devastate portions of the western United States, Australia and other regions across the world. These disasters can be attributed to a variety of factors. Utility companies, in turn, are working to minimize the fire risk posed by overhead lines.
Looking at recent data from California utilities, about one in ten ignition causes can be traced back to animals either directly or indirectly. That amounts to a significant number of wildfires caused by animal contact alone.
Here are five ways wildlife can cause fires near power lines.
Utilities recognize that wooden poles are vulnerable to fire. However, replacing millions of wooden poles with metal or composite ones isn’t realistic from a cost and labor perspective. Reinforcing wooden poles with passive fire protection options is a promising alternative. To maintain the benefits of wood poles, utilities are choosing to deploy passive fire protection solutions in high risk fire areas, controlled burn zones, and active fire paths. This can reduce the duration and cost associated with power outages after a fire. There are two leading options for protecting wooden poles from wildfires: coatings and wraps. These products offer different benefits in terms of serviceability, ease of installation and removal, and breathability.