Fuel burning rates of downward versus horizontally spreading fires
Document Type: Report
Author(s): William H. Frandsen; Robert D. Schuette
Publication Year: 1978

Cataloging Information

  • burning rate
  • fire spread
  • fuel arrangement
  • fuel load
  • fuel loading
  • laboratory experiments
  • laboratory fires
  • load-loss rate
  • rate of spread
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 14117
Tall Timbers Record Number: 6083
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Maximum load-loss rate within the combustion zone of a vertically (downward) spreading fire was obtained for excelsior (0.07 cm in cross-section) at bulk densities from 0.0016 to 0.026 g/cm. Fuel was contained within a continuously weighed circular wire mesh basket 1 ft (929 cm) in circular area and 0.5 ft (15.2 cm) deep, surrounded by a separate annular basket of fuel, to minimize edge effects. Load-loss rates were similar to those obtained by Rothermel (1972) for horizontally spreading fires in the same fuel at the same bulk densities. The peak rate of load loss per unit, area exhibits a strong dependence upon bulk density for both vertically and horizontally spreading fires. The maximum of this peak rate occurs at the same bulk density in the two cases. Because of these similarities, this method offers an alternative for investigating the combustion dynamics of fire; moreover, the vertical array is much easier to use than the horizontal array.

Online Link(s):
Frandsen, William H.; Schuette, Robert D. 1978. Fuel burning rates of downward versus horizontally spreading fires. Research Paper INT-RP-214. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 12 p.