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Fuel-related fire-behaviour relationships for mixed live and dead fuels burned in the laboratory

Author(s): Carlos G. Rossa, Paulo M. Fernandes
Year Published: 2017

A laboratory experimental program addressing fire spread in fuel beds composed of dead foliage litter and vertically placed quasi-live branches, representative of many natural fuel complexes, was carried out for either still-air or wind conditions. Fuel-bed characteristics, fire spread rate, flame geometry, and fuel consumption were assessed and empirical models for estimating several parameters were developed. Weighted fuel moisture content (18%–163%) provided good estimates of firebehaviour characteristics and accounted for most of the variation in still-air and wind-driven spread rate (0.1–1.3 m·min−1). When predicting still-air fire spread rate, fuel height was the most relevant fuel-bed structural parameter and fuel type had significant influence, whereas for wind-driven spread, the effect of foliar fuel-bed density was dominant and fuel type became irrelevant. Flame length (0.4–2.2 m) increased from still-air to wind-assisted (8 km·h−1) fire spread, but its height remained constant. The fraction of total fuel load and mean woody fuel diameter consumed by fire were reasonably predicted from weighted fuel moisture content alone, but predictions for the latter variable improved substantially by adding foliar fuel load.

Citation: Rossa CG, Fernandes PM. 2017. Fuel-related fire-behaviour relationships for mixed live and dead fuels burned in the laboratory. Can. J. For. Res. 47, p. 883–889. dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2016-0457
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Fuels
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 16452
FRAMES RCS number: 24190
Record updated: May 24, 2018