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The Combustion of Noble-Fir Trees in the Presence of an Applied Wind Field



Samuel Manzello, Sayaka Suzuki


Wildland fires that spread into urban areas, termed wildland-urban interface (WUI) fires, are becoming more and more common across multiple locations of the world. An important component in rapid spread of large outdoor fires is the production or generation of new, far smaller combustible fragments from the original fire source referred to as firebrands. Firebrands signifies any hot object in flight that are capable to ignite other fuel types. Firebrands are produced or generated from the combustion of vegetative and structural fuels. Firebrand processes include generation, transport, deposition, and ignition of various fuel types, leading to fire spread processes at distances far removed from the original fire source. The production of firebrands occurs from the combustion dynamics of vegetative and man-made fuel elements, such as homes. In this work, conifer trees (Noble-fir) were used to study the vegetative combustion process under an applied wind field. Two ignition methods were studied: the first employed a special propane burner and the second considered the use of firebrand showers impinging onto the trees. Specifically, temporally resolved mass loss profiles and heat flux profiles, as well as firebrand distributions were determined. Here, some initial findings of associated firebrand production are presented under 3 m/s and compared to experiments performed under no wind conditions. These experiments provide much needed experimental understanding needed to be able model vegetative combustion processes.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 12th U.S. National Combustion Meeting (Virtual)
Conference Dates
May 24-26, 2021
Conference Location
Virtual Conference, TX, US


large outdoor fires, firebrands, wind


Manzello, S. and Suzuki, S. (2021), The Combustion of Noble-Fir Trees in the Presence of an Applied Wind Field, Proceedings of the 12th U.S. National Combustion Meeting (Virtual), Virtual Conference, TX, US, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created May 27, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022