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Ignition of Wood Fencing Assemblies Exposed to Continuous-Wind Driven Firebrand Showers



Sayaka Suzuki, Erik L. Johnsson, Alexander Maranghides, Samuel Manzello


A series of experiments were conducted to examine ignition of wood fencing assemblies subjected to continuous, wind-driven firebrand showers. Specifically, Western Red Cedar and Redwood fencing assemblies were exposed to continuous, wind-driven firebrand bombardment generated by the NIST full-scale Continuous Feed Firebrand Generator (aka the NIST full-scale Continuous Feed Dragon) installed in the Fire Research Wind Tunnel Facility (FRWTF) at the Building Research Institute (BRI) in Japan. To simulate fine fuels that may be present near fencing assemblies, dried shredded hardwood mulch beds were placed adjacent to the fencing assemblies. The fencing assemblies were varied in length and in orientation to the applied wind field to simulate a range of configurations that may be encountered in realistic situations. All configurations considered ultimately resulted in flaming ignition (FI) of the mulch beds, and subsequent FI of the wood fencing assemblies. Finally, experiments were also completed to determine if wind-driven firebrand showers could produce FI of fencing assemblies without the presence of fine fuels adjacent to the fence sections. Firebrands produced smoldering ignition (SI) of the fencing assemblies without fine fuels present, and SI transitioned to FI under the applied wind field. These experiments have demonstrated that wood fencing assemblies are vulnerable to ignition by wind-driven firebrand showers.
Fire Technology


WUI Fires, Firebrands, Fencing Assemblies


Suzuki, S. , Johnsson, E. , Maranghides, A. and Manzello, S. (2015), Ignition of Wood Fencing Assemblies Exposed to Continuous-Wind Driven Firebrand Showers, Fire Technology, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created July 29, 2015, Updated October 12, 2021