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Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Scientists model interaction of multiple fires

Photo of Merging of a ring of fire burning in longleaf pine understory (Pinus palustris Mill). Note the significant change in fire behavior as the flame fronts converge. Merging of a ring of fire burning in longleaf pine understory (Pinus palustris Mill). Note the significant change in fire behavior as the flame fronts converge. Snapshot : Using multiple fires is a key tool used by prescribed burners to control fire behavior but understanding and measurements of how the fires interact are generally lacking.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Weise, David R. 
Research Location : Riverside, California
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1375

Summary

As two or more freely burning fires converge, their behavior can change, significantly. Flamelength, flameangle, heat release rate, and propagation rate for spreading fires have all been observed to increase during flame merging. These fire interactions can prove challenging for fire fighters who are often required to adjust tactics to maintain control of the fire. Forest Service scientists studied the fluid mechanics of two adjacent line fires theoretically and experimentally. They validated a fire behavior model by measuring the velocity field surrounding stationary alcohol pool fires, and the measured velocities and flame angles compared reasonably with the predicted values.

Additional Resources

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Fire Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD
  • University of California atRiverside