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    Author(s): Donald A. Haines; Mahlon C. Smith
    Date: 1987
    Source: Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    Observation shows that three types of horizontal vortices may form during intense wildland fires. Two of these vortices are longitudinal relative to the ambient wind and the third is transverse. One of the longitudinal types, a vortex pair, occurs with extreme heat and low to moderate wind speeds. It may be a somewhat common structure on the flanks of intense crown fires when burning is concentrated along the fire's perimeter. The second longitudinal type, a single vortex, occurs with high winds and can dominate the entire fire. The third type, the transverse vortex, occurs on the upstream side of the convection column during intense burning and relatively low winds. These vortices are important because they contribute to fire spread and are a threat to fire fighter safety. This paper documents field observations of the vortices and supplies supportive meteorological and fuel data. The discussion includes applicable laboratory and conceptual studies in fluid flow and heat transfer that may apply to vortex formation.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Haines, Donald A.; Smith, Mahlon C. 1987. Three Types of Horizontal Vortices Observed in Wildland Mass and Crown Fires. Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology. 26(12): 1624-1637. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450(1987)0262.0.CO;2.

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