A Simple Model for Wind Effects of Burning Structures and Topography on WUI Surface-Fire Propagation
Ronald G. Rehm, William E. Mell
Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) fires are different than either wildland or urban fires. In part, this is because the heat release rates and the burning time scales are significantly different for wildland and structural fuels. Therefore, modeling WUI fires requires a different approach than has been used in the past. A simple physics-based mathematical model is developed for prediction of the propagation of a grass-fire front in a WUIsetting. The model includes the effects on the fire-front propagation of entrainment winds from a single or multiple burning structures, of topography-induced winds, and of ambient winds. The model accounts for the heterogeneous nature of burning in WUI fires, where burning structures produce discrete, fundamentally three-dimensional fire plumes. Data on grass and structure fires are used in the model. Detailed numerical results are shown for front propagation in the presence of a single or multiple burning structures on variable topography.
International Journal of Wildland Fire
burning structures, grass fires, heterogeneous burning, mathematical model, model of fire propagation, physics-based model, plume-entrainment, wildland-urban interface, wind-topography