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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Luis A. Oliveira; Antonio G. Lopes; Bantwal R. Baliga; Miguel Almeida; Domingos Xavier Viegas
Publication Date: 2014

Mathematical models and numerical solution procedures for predicting the trajectory, oscillation, possible rotation, and mass and size time-evolution of cylindrical wind-driven firebrands are described and discussed. Two test problems and the results, used for validating the mathematical models, are presented. In one, experimental measurements of non-burning cylindrical particles falling in still air are compared to numerical predictions and in the other, predictions of time-evolution of mass and size of stationary burning particles in air flows are compared with experimental results reported in the literature. Results yielded by the proposed models for a demonstration problem involving cylindrical wind-driven firebrands, with the same initial volume, mass and position, but different initial aspect ratios and distinct initial orientations relative to the wind velocity, are then presented. These results show the following: the horizontal distance travelled by the firebrand from release to landing locations is an increasing function of its initial aspect ratio; and the initial orientation of the firebrand, and its subsequent oscillations including possible rotation, have a significant influence on its trajectory, thus it is important to account for them in mathematical models formulated for predicting the spread of fires by spotting.

Online Links
Citation: Oliveira, Luis A.; Lopes, Antonio G.; Baliga, Bantwal R.; Almeida, Miguel; Viegas, Domingos X. 2014. Numerical prediction of size, mass, temperature and trajectory of cylindrical wind-driven firebrands. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23(5):698-708.

Cataloging Information

Fuels    Models    Prescribed Fire    Weather
Alaska    California    Eastern    Great Basin    Hawaii    Northern Rockies    Northwest    Rocky Mountain    Southern    Southwest    International    National
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • fire management
  • firebrands
  • horizontal distance travelled
  • laboratory fires
  • mathematical models
  • oscillations
  • Portugal
  • Quebec
  • rate of spread
  • rotations
  • spot fires
  • statistical analysis
  • total falling time
  • trajectories
  • wind
Tall Timbers Record Number: 30403Location Status: In-fileCall Number: Journals - IAbstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 53101

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by Tall Timbers 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 Tall Timbers.