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Field burning safety

Click to download Field Burning Safety handout (PDF)

Power lines carry electricity across the prairie and throughout our communities. In rural areas, lines may cross wide swaths of agricultural land. This land can be used with minimal restrictions. It’s important to follow safe practices when working around power lines and burning the fields they traverse. Safe burning near power lines is discussed here. Kansas State University offers information and workshops on prescribed burning.

Understand the risks of field burning around or under power lines:

  • Electrical arcs (also known as flashovers) can endanger people, animals and property
  • Fire and the by-products of burning can destroy wires, insulators and other components of the power lines in addition to the structure/pole
  • Smoke and gases from a large fire can create a conductive path for electricity
  • Water and other chemicals used to extinguish fires should never be directed toward a power line, pole or structure

Take preemptive measures before you burn:

  • Mow and remove vegetation at least 8 feet (and preferably 15 feet) around any structure/pole prior to burning
  • Till ground or use fire resistant (green) crops during the burn period around any structure/pole
  •  Apply fire retardant to the area as recommended by the manufacturer prior to burn period
  •  Do not directly spray or treat the structure/pole

Please keep in mind:

  • Follow any state and local procedures and laws for permitting and notification. (Links are informational and may not contain all applicable procedures and laws.)
  • Safety first - Fires underneath or near power lines can be dangerous
  • If fire is threatening lives or property, call 911 immediately

If fire damage occurs:

  • Assume any downed power lines are energized. STAY AWAY and call 911 immediately
  • Keep others clear of any downed power lines and anything downed lines are touching
  • Landowners who damage the electrical system during field burns will be billed for repairs. Insurance may cover this cost. Please contact our claims team at 1-877-414-7887

You are important to us, if you have any concerns or questions and need technical guidance, please contact Westar Energy at (800) 383-1183.

Early notification can prevent dangerous situations, an unnecessary interruption of service and damage to the power system.

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