Calculations on forest fire spread by flame radiation
Document Type: Book
Author(s): C. E. Van Wagner
Publication Year: 1967

Cataloging Information

  • Canada
  • energy
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • flame length
  • fuel loading
  • fuel moisture
  • headfires
  • ignition
  • moisture
  • radiation
  • rate of spread
  • Spain
  • statistical analysis
  • surface fires
  • temperature
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 38414
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13016
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Canada Docs
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.


This paper contains some theoretical speculations on the possible heating effect of flame radiation in front of forest fires. Flame variables used are rate of advance, length, angle of tilt and radiant intensity. Taking a simplified case, an expression is derived for the total radiation received by a fuel element before engulfment. This quantity is equated to the energy required to raise the fuel to ignition temperature, and an expression obtained for the ratio of flame length to rate of advance. By using published formulae linking flame length to a fractional power of the fire's energy output per unit length of front, the rate of advance can then be estimated. The final expression links rate of advance, fuel moisture content and flame angle in a way that corresponds roughly to the observed behaviour of surface fires of moderate intensity.

Van Wagner, C. E. 1967. Calculations on forest fire spread by flame radiation. ODC 431.6. Ottawa, Canada, Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery.