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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Title: Development of Field Inspection Practices for Wood Structures on Fire-Prone Lands: Application of State-of-the-Art Condition Assessment Techniques

Source: FS General Technical Report (GTR)

Author(s)Ross, Robert; Senalik, Christopher Adam; Shmulsky, Rubin; Brashaw, Brian

Publication Year: 2021  View PDF »

Category: General Technical Reports

Abstract: Utility pole failures are a known cause of wildland fires. Over the past 15 years in the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho Boise District, 299 wildland fires have been related to electric utility powerline structure failures, an average of 20 wildland fires per year. Routine inspection and maintenance would likely reduce the number of wildland fires caused by utility pole failures. The sheer number of poles and the great distances over which electrical lines span in the BLM Idaho Boise District are factors that complicate regular inspections. BLM recognizes the need for a robust inspection protocol that can be performed quickly and easily in the field. To that end, BLM, the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, and Mississippi State University are working jointly to develop an inspection procedure that is comprehensive, fast, and portable. This report summarizes background information on common engineering properties of wood and deterioration mechanisms that affect wood structural performance and describes current state-of-the-art techniques used for field inspection of wood structures.

Keywords: wood; timber structures; deterioration; inspection; in-field; utility poles; wildland fires

Publication Review Process: Informally Refereed (Peer-Reviewed)

File size: 7,168 kb(s)

Date posted: 11/02/2021

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 10387
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Ross, Robert J.
Supervisory Research Gen. Engineer
Senalik, Christopher
Research General Engineer

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