Susan J. Prichard, Eric Rowell, Andrew T. Hudak, Robert E. Keane, E. Louise Loudermilk, Duncan C. Lutes, Roger D. Ottmar, Linda M. Chappell, John Hall, Benjamin Hornsby
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Behavior
Simulation Modeling

NRFSN number: 25053
Record updated: November 18, 2022

Wildland fuels, defined as the combustible biomass of live and dead vegetation, are foundational to fire behavior, ecological effects, and smoke modeling. Along with weather and topography, the composition, structure and condition of wildland fuels drive fire spread, consumption, heat release, plume production and smoke dispersion. To refine inputs to existing and next-generation smoke modeling tools, improved characterization of the spatial and temporal dynamics of wildland fuels is necessary. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models that resolve fire-atmosphere interactions offer a promising new approach to smoke prediction. CFD models rely on three-dimensional (3D) characterization of wildland fuelbeds (trees, shrubs, herbs, downed-wood and forest floor fuels).Advances in remote sensing technologies are leading to novel ways to measure wildland fuels and map them at submeter to multi-kilometer scales as inputs to next-generation fire and smoke models. In this chapter, we review traditional methods to characterize fuel, describe recent advances in the fields of fuel and consumption science to inform smoke science, and discuss emerging issues and challenges.


Prichard, Susan J.; Rowell, Eric M.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Keane, Robert E.; Loudermilk, E. Louise; Lutes, Duncan C.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Chappell, Linda M.; Hall, John A.; Hornsby, Benjamin S. 2022. Fuels and consumption Chapter 2 . In: Peterson, David L.; McCaffrey, Sarah M.; Patel-Weynand, Toral, eds. Wildland Fire Smoke in the United States. Springer, Cham. p. 11-49.

Access this Document