Coupled assessment of fire behaviour and firebrand dynamics

Jan C. Thomas, Eric Mueller, Michael Gallagher, Kenneth L. Clark, Nicholas S. Skowronski, Albert Simeoni, Rory M. Hadden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The hazards associated with firebrands have been well documented. However, there exist few studies that allow the hazard from a given fire to be quantified. To develop predictive tools to evaluate this hazard, it is necessary to under-stand the conditions that govern firebrand generation and those that affect firebrand deposition. A method is presented that allows time resolved measurements of fire behaviour to be related to the dynamics of firebrand deposition. Fire-brand dynamics were recorded in three fires undertaken in two different ecosystems. Fire intensity is shown to drive firebrand generation and firebrand deposition – higher global fire intensities resulting in the deposition of more, larger firebrands at a given distance from the fire front. Local firebrand dynamics are also shown to dominate the temporal firebrand deposition with periods of high fire intensity within a fire resulting in firebrand shower at deposition sites at times commensurate with firebrand transport. For the range of conditions studied, firebrand deposition can be expected up to 200 m ahead of the fire line based on extrapolation from the measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number650580
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Mechanical Engineering
Early online date16 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Dec 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • firebrands
  • wildland-urban interface
  • WUI fires
  • fire behaviour
  • spread rate
  • firebrand generation
  • firebrand deposition
  • prescribed fire planning


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