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High impedance faults (HIFs) are difficult to detect by overcurrent protection relays. This paper presents an ATP/EMTP fault simulations studies based algorithm for high impedance fault detection in extra high voltage transmission line. The scheme recognizes the distortion of the voltage waveforms caused by the arcs usually associated with HIF. The discrete wavelet transform (DWT) based analysis, yields three phase voltage in the high frequency range which are fed to a classifier for pattern recognition. The classifier is based on an algorithm that uses recursive method to sum the absolute values of the high frequency signal generated over one cycle and shifting one sample. A HIF model of distribution is modified for EHV transmission lines. Characteristics of the proposed fault detection scheme are analyzed by extensive simulation studies that clearly reveal that the proposed method can accurately detect HIFs in the EHV transmission lines.