The Victorian Government has undertaken research on over 20 vegetation species (native and non-native) to determine their fault signature and how easily they start a fire from electricity conduction in the Victorian environment.

Powerline faults can start in a variety of ways. The least known and most challenging ignition process to understand is ignition through conduction of high voltage electricity through vegetation.

Working closely with industry, regulators and the research community, the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program, through its Research and Development Fund, undertook world first research in 2015 to improve fault signature detection technology and leave a legacy that will continue well after the life of the program by:

  • identifying which plant species, that are found around or under powerlines in Victoria, are the most and least likely to start a fire through the conduction of electricity
  • delivering a reference database of related fault signatures to drive the development of fault detection technology.

Findings from this research is made publicly available in order to foster further research, innovative solutions and business enterprise of improved detection equipment and technologies to prevent bushfires from powerlines.

Vegetation Conduction Ignition Test Report (PDF, 14.0 MB)

The full authorised data set including 300GB of photos, videos, test logs and report, is available on the DataVic website.