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Effects of Winds From Burning Structures on Ground-Fire Propagation at the Wildland-Urban Interface. Final Report.


pdf icon Effects of Winds From Burning Structures on Ground-Fire Propagation at the Wildland-Urban Interface. Final Report. (386 K)
Rehm, R. G.

NIST GCR 06-892; 33 p. April 2006.

Sponsor:

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Keywords:

urban/wildland interface; wildland fires; wind effects; fire spread; fire models; structures; heat release rate; experiments; fire data; plumes; scaling; fuels; ground fires

Abstract:

The status of fire models for wildland fires is discussed in light of the corresponding models for fires in structures. The starting point for this discussion is a 1997 review paper by F. Albini entitled, "An Overview of Research on Wildland Fire." Then, estimates of the parameters describing ground fires, structure fires and tree fires are presented and compared. Finally, an attempt is made to bridge the gap between these two types of modelling efforts by suggesting a simple, physics-based model for fire propagation at the wildland-urban interface (WUI). A grass fire is considered to be driven by both an ambient wind and entrainment winds generated by burning structures. Although modest, this model, which is based on the conservation of energy and mass, includes several interesting features and requires specification of several parameters. The dependence of the solution on the variation of some of the parameters is discussed.