I stumbled across this great article about the different ways that powerlines can start wildfires. Thanks to the Texas Wildfire Mitigation Project for such a clean, concise summary on the topic.
Basically, power line fire ignitions fall into roughly 5 categories:
- Downed power lines
- Direct vegetation contact
- Conductor slap (conductor contact)
- Repetitive faults (by vegetation contact, conductor slap or equipment failure).
- Equipment (apparatus) failure.
The real question is how many of these ignitions are truly preventable. Some ignitions may occur from random chance (bad luck), while others, like repetitive faults, should be consider avoidable through appropriate monitoring and detection. It is clear that managing and preventing power line ignition is critical to community safety, therefore we must explore every avenue we have to limit their ability start a destructive wildfire.
Click here to read the full story from the TWMP: How do power lines start wildfires?