Firebrands as a markov process
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): T. Y. Palmer
Publication Year: 1994

Cataloging Information

  • firebrands
  • rate of spread
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 34855
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9135
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire 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.


Firebrands spread fire efficiently, but their occurrence is difficult to understand and predict. It is obvious that potential firebrands form and burn-up continuously in any wildland fire, just as it is apparent that there is upward motion above a fire. But, firebrands do not always come out of fires in large quantities. If firebrand generation and lofting are separated into two interacting statistical processes with non-stationary means they can be treated as conditionally dependent, i.e. describable as a Markov process. This concept leads to a stochastic form of the Fokker-Planck diffusion-advection partial differential equation. It can be solved to demonstrate that firebrands are formed in a quasi-cyclic manner. © by the Society of American Foresters. Abstract reproduced by permission.

Online Link(s):
Palmer, T. Y. 1994. Firebrands as a markov process. Proceedings of the Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology, v. 11, p. 242-246.