Power Line Safety

Misc Fireline Hazards
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Mar 2022


Operating near or under power lines poses unique hazards, and the following precautions should be followed to reduce potential injury or equipment damage:

  • If possible, the power company should deactivate lines in the fire area.
  • Don’t operate heavy equipment under power lines.
  • Don’t drive with long antennas under power lines.
  • Don’t park under power lines. The magnetic field around energized power lines can induce an electrical charge in ungrounded vehicles or equipment. This charge can shock anyone who touches the vehicle.
  • Keep all aviation activity away from power lines. Inform air attack and/or other aviation resources of the location of the power lines.
  • Don’t stand near power lines during retardant drops.
  • Don’t apply a straight stream to power lines.
  • All personnel should be cautioned that smoke may become charged and conduct the electrical current. Deactivated transmission and distribution lines may continue to pose a hazard due to induction.
  • If power lines fall on your vehicle, DON’T leave the vehicle until the power company arrives. If the vehicle is on fire or fire is near: jump clear, don’t hang on, keep feet together, and bunny hop away.


Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
10 Standard Firefighting Orders, PMS 110 
18 Watch Out Situations, PMS 118
10 & 18 Poster, PMS 110-18
NWCG Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center


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