Power System Wildfire Risks and Potential Solutions: A Literature Review & Proposed Metric

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Several fire risk evaluation, fire tracking, and fire response resources are available. The risk metrics and fire response programs are sometimes modified to include a power system context. The risk metrics often evaluate the risk of fires causing power system faults or outages, especially on transmission systems. The response programs are modified to ensure the safety of power system equipment and first responders as well as to coordinate power system outages to both ensure safety during an active fire and prevent fire ignition during high risk periods. Although some aspects of wildfire responses have been adapted to include power system concerns, adaptations to power system operations and maintenance to include wildfire risks and responses are still nascent. In particular, a risk metric that evaluates the potential for power system components to ignite wildfires is needed to help guide power system upgrade efforts and power system fire safety measures. This document serves as a brief literature review of wildfire risk metrics and response programs and how they relate to power systems. It also includes a proposed risk metric and structure for describing the risk of a power system component igniting a fire.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A40-80746


  • distributed solar integration
  • fire risk
  • power system upgrades
  • public safety power shutoff
  • transmission and distribution
  • wildfire


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