A JFSP Fire Science Exchange Network
Bringing People Together & Sharing Knowledge in the Northern Rockies

Experiments on wildfire ignition by exploding targets

Author(s): Mark A. Finney, C. Todd Smith, Trevor B. Maynard
Year Published: 2019

Tests were conducted using 97 exploding targets (ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder) to examine the effects of product formulation, environment, and shooting on wildfire ignition. Tests in 2015 produced no ignitions in cold and humid weather conditions. Ignitions in 2018 under warm and dry conditions were positively related to the aluminum concentration (expressed as a percentage of the ammonium nitrate mass) and the placement of the target on a straw fuel bed rather than on a 6 in (15 cm) high steel pedestal. High speed videography and peak overpressure measured for each explosion suggested that differences in explosive characteristics were also related to other experimentally controlled variables and could help explain how wildfire ignition results from elements of product usage.

Citation: Finney, Mark A.; Smith, C. Todd; Maynard, Trevor B. 2019. Experiments on wildfire ignition by exploding targets. Res. Pap. RMRS-RP-108. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 29 p.
Topic(s): Fire Behavior
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Technical Report or White Paper
NRFSN number: 20047
Record updated: Sep 23, 2019