A dynamics based view of atmosphere-fire interactions
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Brian E. Potter
Publication Year: 2002

Cataloging Information

  • biogeochemical cycles
  • blowup
  • Canada
  • fire control
  • fire danger rating
  • fire management planning
  • fire size
  • fire weather
  • moisture
  • physics
  • plume-dominated wildland fire
  • plumes
  • smoke behavior
  • statistical analysis
  • temperature
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 4, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 4915
Tall Timbers Record Number: 14452
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-I
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


Current research on severe fire interactions with the atmosphere focuses largely on examination of correlations between fire growth and various atmospheric properties, and on the development of indices based on these correlations. The author proposes that progress requires understanding the physics and atmospheric dynamics behind the correlations. A conceptual 3-stage model of fire development, based on atmospheric structure, is presented. Using parcel theory and basic atmospheric dynamics equations, the author proposes possible causal explanations for some of the known correlations. The atmospheric dynamics are discussed in terms of the 3-stage model, but can also be viewed more generally. The overall goal is to reframe fire-atmosphere interactions in a way that will allow better understanding and progress in fire science, prediction, and safety.

[This publication is referenced in the "Synthesis of knowledge of extreme fire behavior: volume I for fire managers" (Werth et al 2011).]

Online Link(s):
Potter, Brian E. 2002. A dynamics based view of atmosphere-fire interactions. International Journal of Wildland Fire 11(3-4):247-255.