Lower Risk Of Wildfires Along T&D Systems Long Term

Lower Risk Of Wildfires Along T&D Systems Long Term

The catastrophic fires that have struck the U.S. states of California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona in recent years are proving to be part of a new era and no longer isolated occurrences. While not as prominently reported, this theme has been repeated throughout the West, including Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.

When catastrophic fires occur, it is evident the fire-risk regime utilities operate in has changed significantly. Utility vegetation managers must fully assess and comprehend the risks and how quickly risk is changing to be successful in managing infrastructure and vegetation to protect it from fire and ensure ignition risks are removed from the system.

Western Fire Risk

As Western droughts persist and vegetation continues to be inadequately managed across the landscape, pandemic population shifts have complicated the risk equation. According toa study published on Dec. 8, 2022, in the Frontiers in Human Dynamics journal, Flocking to Fire: How Climate and Natural Hazards Shape Human Migration Across the United States, more people call the interior West their home now, and the result has been an expanded wildland-urban interface (WUI), significantly increasing the population and number of structures at risk from wildfire.

For example, in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, where about 155,000 people reside, more than 34,000 private properties are at high risk of catastrophic fire, according to the Insurance Journal. So, even though New Mexico does not have as large of a population as California, a high proportion of its
population is at risk.

This population expansion into rural areas further complicates fuel treatment where a century of fire suppression and management policies has resulted in a highly combustible buildup of dead and live fuel. Utilities also are under increased pressure to provide highly reliable electric service to meet the demand of the shifting population of remote employees working from their homes.

While no one can put a value on life, there are quantifiable costs to loss of structures and fire suppression. For example, 2021 marked the most expensive year for annual federal suppression, with costs nearing US$4.5 billion, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Property values have risen dramatically, with some Western states experiencing 40% increases in property value since summer 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As property values have dramatically increased in some Western states, it is presumed that costs associated with fire risk will only increase in future fire events. The values associated with fire risk today are vastly different than those from merely two years ago.

Utility-caused fires have been exceptionally destructive to life and property in recent years. Despite utilities’ efforts to manage grow-in risk and hazardous trees, danger-tree failure-related electrical ignitions continue to occur — with devastating impacts. Consider the Dixie Fire in California that raged across five counties from July 13, 2021, until it was declared contained on Oct. 24, 2021. All told, more than 963,000 acres (389,712 hectares) burned, with one fatality and about 1500 structures lost. The fire was the first to cross the Sierra Nevada — and it did so twice. The cause of the Dixie Fire is alleged to have been a tree failure resulting in contact with energized conductors.

Continue Reading on T&D World

All the best tools & Equipment Linemen need every day

At Tallman Equipment, our priority is to set the standard in the electrical transmission and distribution industry with an all-inclusive approach to serving our customers. We carry the best lineman tools and equipment from many of the top manufacturers in the business today. Our vision to deliver a trio of quality, convenience, and reliability is driven by listening and adapting to our customers’ needs. We work with our clients to ensure they find the right lineman tools and equipment for the job. For more information on any of the products we sell, give us a call today at 877-860-5666.

We’re more than just tool Sales

Check Out Our Unique Combination of Services

Tool & Equipment Rental

When new equipment purchases aren’t an option, Tallman Equipment’s tool rental department is here to meet your shorter-term needs! We house a large inventory of the most commonly used equipment for the construction and maintenance of electrical transmission and distribution systems.

Tool & Equipment Repair

We consider no tool to be outside the experience and training of our technicians. Some examples of commonly repaired tools include hydraulic, pneumatic, gas, and battery-powered equipment, stringing blocks, dynamometers, chain hoists, strap hoists, capstan hoists, and rope products.

Grounds & Jumpers
Manufacturing, repair and refurbishment 

Tallman Equipment has a full-service assembly department skilled in building and repairing custom grounds and jumpers. We can build customized grounds and jumpers to your specifications as quickly as a day. Our testing process meets ASTM standards

Transformer Sling

Manufaturing & Rope Repair

Tallman leads the industry in developing and manufacturing transformer slings. Whatever your need may be, our trained and certified Master Splicer can build custom rope assemblies for unique applications, along with winch lines for buckets, diggers, bumper winches, and high strength tow ropes.


Testing, Repair & Refinishing

Tallman offers complete repair and reconditioning of your fiberglass tools compliant with OSHA and ASTM standards. Our technicians can tackle all brands of hot sticks, conductor and support gins, ladders, extension arms, shotgun sticks, fixed sticks, and much more.

Rubber Goods
Cleaning & Testing 

Tallman is now offering rubber goods testing and cleaning of linemen’s rubber gloves, blankets, sleeves, hoods, line hose, and hardcover. All testing and procedures conform to ASTM standards and involve thorough washing, visual inspection, dielectric testing, and date stamping.