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
    Author(s): Mark A. FinneyJack D. CohenJason M. ForthoferSara S. McAllister; Michael J. Gollner; Daniel J. Gorham; Kozo Saito; Nelson K. Akafuah; Brittany A. Adam; Justin D. English
    Date: 2015
    Source: PNAS. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1504498112.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (971.87 KB)

    Related Research Highlights


    RMRS-2015-92
    Role of Buoyant Flame Dynamics in Wildfire Spread

    Description

    Large wildfires of increasing frequency and severity threaten local populations and natural resources and contribute carbon emissions into the earth-climate system. Although wildfires have been researched and modeled for decades, no verifiable physical theory of spread is available to form the basis for the precise predictions needed to manage fires more effectively and reduce their environmental, economic, ecological and climate impacts. Here, we report new experiments conducted at multiple scales which appear to reveal how wildfire spread derives from the tight coupling between flame dynamics induced by buoyancy and fine-particle response to convection. Convective cooling of the fine-sized fuel particles in wildland vegetation is observed to efficiently offset heating by thermal radiation until convective heating by contact with flames and hot gasses occurs. The structure and intermittency of flames that ignite fuel particles were found to correlate with instabilities induced by the strong buoyancy of the flame zone itself. Discovery that ignition in wildfires is critically dependent upon non-steady flame convection governed by buoyant and inertial interaction advances both theory and the physical basis for practical modeling.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us 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.

    Citation

    Finney, Mark A.; Cohen, Jack D.; Forthofer, Jason M.; McAllister, Sara S.; Gollner, Michael J.; Gorham, Daniel J.; Saito, Kozo; Akafuah, Nelson K.; Adam, Brittany A.; English, Justin D. 2015. Role of buoyant flame dynamics in wildfire spread. PNAS. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1504498112.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    wildfires, buoyant instability, flame spread, convective heating

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/48668