Fires near transmission lines can reduce energy supplies to cities and regions, affecting homes, businesses, hospitals, schools and essential services.

A fire started next to a tower can damage the metal structures and could result in it falling down. It also damages power cables and other transmission line components. The ensuing dust and soot can also cause short-circuits along the lines.

Dry spells make several Brazilian regions more vulnerable to fires.

Some fires near transmission lines and towers are caused by farming. Other frequents causes include cigarette butts thrown away in the woods and falling sky lanterns.  Awareness programs can help avoid accidents.

FURNAS run periodic awareness campaigns to alert the population about the danger of fires near transmission lines as part of efforts to protect over 29 thousand kilometers of transmission lines.

Not only are they dangerous, fires near transmission lines are federal crimes as per Decree 2,661, dated 08/08/1988.

It is prohibited to start fires:

  • Less than 15 meters away from an easement;
  • Within a 100 meter radius of a substation’s restricted area;
  • Within a 50 meter radius of an environmental preservation unit;
  • Within 15 meters of each side of state and federal highways or railways.