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

Fuelbreak effectiveness against wind-driven and plume-dominated fires: a 3D numerical study

Author(s): N. Frangieh, Gilbert Accary, Jean Louis Rossi, D. Morvan, Sofiane Meradji, Thierry Marcelli, François Joseph Chatelon
Year Published: 2021

The effectiveness of a fuelbreak, created in a homogeneous grassland on a flat terrain, was studied numerically. The analysis relies on 3D numerical simulations that were performed using a detailed physical-fire-model (FIRESTAR3D) based on a multiphase formulation. To avoid border effects, calculations were carried out by imposing periodic boundary conditions along the two lateral sides of the computational domain, reproducing that way a quasi-infinitely long fire front. A total of 72 simulations were carried out for various wind speeds, fuel heights, and fuelbreak widths, which allowed to cover a large spectrum of fire behaviour, ranging from plume-dominated fires to wind-driven fires. The results were classified in three main categories: 1- 'Propagation' if fire crossed the fuelbreak with a continuous fire front, 2- 'Overshooting' and “Marginal” if fire marginally crosses the fuelbreak with the formation of burning pockets, and 3- 'No propagation' if fire does not cross at all the fuelbreak. The ratio of fuelbreak width to fuel height, marking the 'Propagation'/'No propagation' transition, was found to be scaled with Byram's convection number Nc as 75.07×Nc–0.46. The numerical results were also compared to an operational wildfire engineering tool (DIMZAL) dedicated to fuelbreaks dimensioning.

Citation: Frangieh, Nicolas; Accary, Gilbert; Rossi, Jean-Louis; Morvan, Dominique; Meradji, Sofiane; Marcelli, Thierry; Chatelon, Francois-Joseph. 2021. Fuelbreak effectiveness against wind-driven and plume-dominated fires: a 3D numerical study. Fire Safety Journal 124:103383. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2021.103383
Topic(s): Fire Behavior, Simulation Modeling, Fuels
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 23715
FRAMES RCS number: 63818
Record updated: Oct 19, 2021