Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Jahn, W., Urban, J., Rein, G., PowerlinesWildfires: Overview, PerspectivesClimate Change, IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, vol. 20, 2022, doi: 10.1109/MPE.2021.3122755 (2022)

Powerlines and Wildfires: Overview, Perspectives and Climate Change

Revista : IEEE Power & Energy Magazine
Volumen : 20
Número : 1
Páginas : 16-27
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Overhead powerlines cross extensive areas of forest and grasslands, and these areas are often flammable and can burn. Wildfire is a natural phenomenon important to many ecosystems around the globe, but also capable of considerable damage to people and communities. As a result of human activity in natural spaces, people have altered wildfire regimes over time, and wildfires have become a threat to people, to their property, and infrastructure. For example, Figure 1 shows the thousands of wildfires detected by satellite around the globe during seven days of early September 2021; the image gives an indication of the planetary magnitude of the phenomenon. Powerlines represent both a way in which human activity has changed the natural wildfire regimes (i.e., an ignition source), and vital infrastructure vulnerable to fire.