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Wind tunnel experiments to study chaparral crown firesAuthor(s): Jeanette Cobian-Iñiguez; AmirHessam Aminfar; Joey Chong; Gloria Burke; Albertina Zuniga; David R. Weise; Marko Princevac
Source: Journal of Visualized Experiments. 129: e56591
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
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DescriptionThe present protocol presents a laboratory technique designed to study chaparral crown fire ignition and spread. Experiments were conducted in a low velocity fire wind tunnel where two distinct layers of fuel were constructed to represent surface and crown fuels in chaparral. Chamise, a common chaparral shrub, comprised the live crown layer. The dead fuel surface layer was constructed with excelsior (shredded wood). We developed a methodology to measure mass loss, temperature, and flame height for both fuel layers. Thermocouples placed in each layer estimated temperature. A video camera captured the visible flame. Post-processing of digital imagery yielded flame characteristics including height and flame tilt. A custom crown mass loss instrument developed in-house measured the evolution of the mass of the crown layer during the burn. Mass loss and temperature trends obtained using the technique matched theory and other empirical studies. In this study, we present detailed experimental procedures and information about the instrumentation used. The representative results for the fuel mass loss rate and temperature filed within the fuel bed are also included and discussed.
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CitationCobian-Iñiguez, Jeanette; Aminfar, AmirHessam; Chong, Joey; Burke, Gloria; Zuniga, Albertina; Weise, David R.; Princevac, Marko. 2017. Wind tunnel experiments to study chaparral crown fires. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 129: e56591. https://doi.org/10.3791/56591.
KeywordsChaparral, Wind Tunnel, Surface Fire, Crown Fire, Fuel Mass Loss, Flame Height
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