Professional utility worker surveying power lines through forested area.

Can Utility Services Play a Role in Stopping Wildfires?

The number of wildfires across the globe is rising because of many factors, especially in California and Australia. US communities are looking to limit the damage done to the local plant and wildlife during the wildfire season, and surprisingly, utility services have an essential role to play here.

Utility lines, whether they are electrical lines, gas pipelines, and even sewage, often run through forests. While there are calls for reducing the number of gas pipelines in forests (and therefore reducing the risk of explosions amid the fires), at the same time, there is a call for utility services to start using fire-resistant cables.

Utility construction in forests has the potential to act as a barrier for fires from crossing from one side to another because of these wires. The idea is gaining popularity not just because of its potential for reducing risks; the fire-resistant wires can also protect the power infrastructure during wildfires.

Electric services are very invested in the idea and are pushing towards this reform as soon as possible. So let’s take a closer look at how utility services can limit the impact of wildfires with fire-resistant cables and more.

How Utility Services Can Stop Wildfires

The existing cable jackets on electrical cables are a significant source of wildfire spread. This is particularly true for cable jackets on overhead tree wires. Although the cables are made out of rubber and other insulation material, these wires are often flammable. When they fall, they can take ambers and small fires with them to other parts of forests and can spread the fire to other territories within minutes.

This is why the industry is currently looking to source cables that have a flame-resistant jacket around the insulation. The insulation is also starting to be made with material that can withstand high temperatures. The temperature of forest fires reaching 1 meter in height can reach temperatures of up to 1,472º.

While this isn’t enough to melt steel, it can easily melt sensitive equipment on them.

According to several communities and utility companies, using fire-resistant wires in forests isn’t just an opportunity but an obligation as well. These innovative wires can reinforce the trust in utility companies and their resolve to make the world a better, more sustainable place for all.

Additional steps that utility services are taking to reduce wildfire spread include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Routine safety inspections
  • Safety improvements to infrastructure
  • Complying with state vegetation and fire safety standards, especially in forests and other places where there is a high fire risk.
  • Constructing fire watch towers in forests and giving them the ability to use advanced weather stations and fire mitigation tools in high-threat areas, and more.

If you would like to learn more about how utility service providers such as Americom can help you fulfill your high-end utility servicing needs and make a good impression on the public, let us know. We’d love to help you improve your services and strengthen your infrastructure!