Ignition of mulch and grasses by firebrands in wildland-urban interface fires
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): S. L. Manzello; T. G. Cleary; J. R. Shields; J. C. Yang
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • experimental fires
  • fire management
  • firebrands
  • fuel beds
  • fuel loading
  • fuel moisture
  • grasses
  • ignition
  • litter
  • moisture
  • needles
  • rate of spread
  • spot fires
  • trees
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 44952
Tall Timbers Record Number: 20396
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-I
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 or embers are produced as trees and structures burn in wildland-urban interface (WUI) fires. It is believed that firebrand showers created in WUI fires may ignite vegetation and mulch located near homes and structures. This, in turn, may lead to ignition of homes and structures due to burning vegetation and mulch. Understanding the ignition events that are due to firebrands is important to mitigate fire spread in communities. To assess the ignition propensity of such materials, simulated firebrands of uniform geometry, but in two different sizes, were allowed to impinge on fuel beds of shredded hardwood mulch, pine straw mulch, and cut grass. The moisture content of these materials was varied. Firebrands were suspended and ignited within the test cell of the Fire Emulator/Detector Evaluator (FE/DE) apparatus. The FE/DE was used to investigate the influence of an air flow on the ignition propensity of a fuel bed. Ignition regime maps were generated for each material tested as a function of impacting firebrand size, number of deposited firebrands, air flow, and material moisture content. © IAWF. Reproduced from the International Journal of Wildland Fire (S.L. Manzello, T.G. Cleary, J.R. Shields, J.C. Yang; 2006) with the kind permission of CSIRO Publishing and on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire. Abstract may not be reproduced in any other publication, whether printed or electronic, without the prior written permission of CSIRO Publishing.

Online Link(s):
Manzello, S. L., T. G. Cleary, J. R. Shields, and J. C. Yang. 2006. Ignition of mulch and grasses by firebrands in wildland-urban interface fires. International Journal of Wildland Fire, v. 15, no. 3, p. 427-431. 10.1071/.