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    Observed fire spread rates from 240 laboratory fires in horizontally-oriented single-species live fuel beds were compared to predictions from various implementations and modifications of the Rothermel rate of spread model and a physical fire spread model developed by Pagni and Koo. Packing ratio of the laboratory fuel beds was generally greater than that observed in natural stands of chaparral. Fuel bed moisture content was greater than that in Rothermel's or in Wilson's data. Correlation between observed and predicted spread rate was 0 for Rothermel's original model and ranged from 0.07 to 0.49 for the other implementations and modifications of the Rothermel model. Correlation between observed and predicted rate of spread for the Pagni/Koo model was 0.74 and 0.89 in chamise and broadleaf chaparral fuel beds, respectively. Additional comparisons with vertically-oriented live fuel beds and with additional models are planned.

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    Weise, D.R.; Koo, E.; Zhou, X.; Mahalingam, S. 2011. A laboratory-scale comparison of rate of spread model predictions using chaparral fuel beds – preliminary results. In Wade, D.D.; Robinson, M.L. (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuel Conference, Oct. 25-29,2010, Spokane, Washington, USA. International Association of Wildland Fire, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. 17 p.


    Adenostoma fasciculatum, Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Quercus

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