Tasmanian Times


Lightning induction rods …

Dear Tasmanian Times,

I’d like to congratulate the Tasmania Fire Service and their volunteers for the good work they are conducting across the state.

I’d like to offer an idea for the Tasmania Fire Service to consider to assist in preventing multiple fires from starting again.

I wonder if ‘lightning induction rods’ in strategic locations in the Tasmanian wilderness such as the summits of mountain tops could prevent dry lightning strikes on the ground.

With global warming a reality and dry lightning becoming a genuine problem in Tasmania could it be possible that this idea could have any practical application to prevent lightning from igniting remote bushland.

I speculate, maybe one reason we haven’t seen a fire on Mt. Wellington/kunanyi for many years is because the tower acts as a giant lightning rod, providing anecdotal evidence that lightning rods located in the Tasmanian wilderness could prevent vegetation fire. The tower is a lightning rod. Therefore, the question becomes; is the tower actually protecting the mountain from lightning and fire? I believe it’s plausible.


Adam Crawford

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  1. Jon Sumby

    February 6, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Lightning rods don’t attract lightning strikes, they only provide protection for an object struck by lightning. Lightning is random, following negative-positive electrical potentials that cannot be predicted. I know of lightning that has struck the ground in a paddock when there was a gum tree 50 m away.

    If you look at the video in this story, the lightning is seen hitting grass on the side of a road, within metres of a taller, metallic, object (the car) and maybe a 100 m from tall trees.


    In 2017, a racecourse worker patching holes on the track died when lightning hit the racetrack, travelling past all the other taller structures like the grandstand.

  2. Russell

    February 6, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Sorry Adam, but that just won’t work. Lightning doesn’t really work that way. If it did, all our mountains would be burned to a crisp by now and there’d be lightning rods installed everywhere across the world.

    There are high voltage towers all over the top of Tasmania. Have they stopped the fires?

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