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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Bernard Porterie; Jean-Louis Consalvi; Jean-Claude Loraud; Frédérique Giroud; Claude Picard
Publication Date: 2007

A physics-based forest fire model, based on a multiclass description of two-phase flow, is developed to study fire behavior and the response of structures to fire-induced thermal stress. The model is three-dimensional and considers the coupled physicochemical processes that take place in both phases: the thermal degradation of organic matter and glowing combustion of the char, as well as turbulence, flaming combustion, soot formation, and radiation for the gas phase. Model results are compared with data from two specially designed experiments. The first refers to a back-wind prescribed burning over a 900 m2 area of steep-slope terrain. The model predicts not only the mean rate of fire spread, but also the convex shape of the head-fire front resulting from three-dimensional effects. In the second experiment, attention is focused on the thermal impact of a fire-exposed structural element placed in a wind tunnel. The predicted fire-front trajectory is shown to be in good agreement with measurements as well as the temperature level and the location of the exposed area of the structure.

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Citation: Porterie, Bernard; Consalvi, Jean-Louis; Loraud, Jean-Claude; Giroud, Frédérique; Picard, Claude. 2007. Dynamics of wildland fires and their impact on structures. Combustion and Flame 149(3):314-328.

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  • fire spread
  • physics-based fire model
  • structures
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 20192