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A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine-scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management. Part II. An exploratory study of the effect of simulated winds on fire growth simulations

Author(s): Jason M. Forthofer, Bret W. Butler, Charles W. McHugh, Mark A. Finney, Larry S. Bradshaw, Richard D. Stratton, Kyle S. Shannon, Natalie S. Wagenbrenner
Year Published: 2014
Description:

The effect of fine-resolution wind simulations on fire growth simulations is explored. The wind models are (1) a wind field consisting of constant speed and direction applied everywhere over the area of interest; (2) a tool based on the solution of the conservation of mass only (termed mass-conserving model) and (3) a tool based on a solution of conservation of mass and momentum (termed momentum-conserving model). Fire simulations use the FARSITE fire simulation system to simulate fire growth for one hypothetical fire and two actual wildfires. The momentum-conserving model produced fire perimeters that most closely matched the observed fire spread, followed by the mass-conserving model and then the uniform winds. The results suggest that momentum-conserving and mass-conserving models can reduce the sensitivity of fire growth simulations to input wind direction, which is advantageous to fire growth modellers. The mass-conserving and momentum-conserving wind models may be useful for operational use as decision support tools in wildland fire management, prescribed fire planning, smoke dispersion modelling, and firefighter and public safety.

Citation: Forthofer, Jason M.; Butler, Bret W.; McHugh, Charles W.; Finney, Mark A.; Bradshaw, Larry S.; Stratton, Richard D.; Shannon, Kyle S.; Wagenbrenner, Natalie S. 2014. A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine-scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management. Part II. An exploratory study of the effect of simulated winds on fire growth simulations. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 23: 982-994.
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling, Weather
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 16922
Record updated: May 18, 2018