Distribution Line Fires

Burning utility poles may cause downed power lines. Follow these precautions:

  • If possible, de-energize lines before extinguishing a pole fire. Only apply extinguishing agents to an energized pole under your incident commander’s direction. These agents may include dry chemical or water fog spray using the 30/30/100 rule.
  • Do not use water around a utility pole unless the incident commander directs you to do so.
  • If transformers are burning, be alert for explosions, smoke hazards and oil releases. Even when the fire is put out, there may still be oil present and power lines may still be energized.
  • Create a safety perimeter, and keep bystanders at least 50 feet away. Maintain this perimeter until utility personnel confirms that the lines are de-energized and oil cleanup is complete.