Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Crown fire initiation is studied by using a simple experimental and detailed physical modeling based on Large Eddy Simulation (LES). Experiments conducted thus far reveal that crown fuel ignition via surface fire occurs when the crown base is within the continuous flame region and does not occur when the crown base is located in the hot plume gas region of the surface five. Accordingly, the focus in this article is on crown fuel ignition when the crown base is situated within the intermittent flame region. In this region, the /lame shape and height changes with time over the course of pulsation. This causes the flame to impinge on the crown fuel base and the hot gas is forced through the crown fuel matrix. Under certain conditions, it is observed that the crown fuel bulk density affects the impingement of flame and the ignition of crown fire. The crown fuel properties used were estimated for live chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum) with a fuel moisture content of 44% (dry basis). As the crown fuel bulk density is increased from 0.75 kg. m-3 to 1.75 kg. m-3, it is observed that the average hot gas velocity inside the crown matrix decreases from 0.70m. s-1 to 0.52 m . s-1, thus, resulting in less entrained air passing through the crown fuel and more energy accumulation inside the crown fuel matrix. Higher bulk density also influences the surface fie. As the hot gas flows into the crown fuel matrix is retarded, the average hot gas temperature at the crown fuel base increases from 768 K to 1,205 K. This is because the mixing rate of air and combustible gas around the base of crown fuel increases. Although higher fuel bulk density means more fuel must be heated, the increase in accumulated energy per unit volume within the crown fuel matrix is higher than the additional heat needed by the fuel. Thus, the average crown fuel temperature increases and ignition occurs at higher bulk density.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Tachajapong, Watcharapong; Lozano, Jesse; Mahalingam, Shankar; Zhou, Xiangyang; Weise, David R. 2008. An investigation of crown fuel bulk density effects on the dynamics of crown fire initiation in shrublands. Combustion Science and Tech., 180: 593-615


    crown fire, LES, transition

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page