On the intermittent nature of forest fire spread - part 2
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Domingos Xavier Viegas; Jorge R. Raposo; Carlos Ribeiro; Luís Carlos Duarte Reis; Abdelrahman Abouali; Luis M. Ribeiro; Carlos Viegas
Publication Year: 2022

Cataloging Information

  • fire acceleration
  • fire growth
  • fire modelling
  • fire oscillations
  • fire spread
  • forest fires
  • ROS - rate of spread
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: October 28, 2022
FRAMES Record Number: 66805


Based on analysis of the interaction between a spreading fire and its surrounding environment, in nominally constant and uniform boundary conditions, it is observed that the evolution of the fire front is characterised by fluctuations of its properties, including (in particular) its rate of spread (ROS). Using a database with a wide range of fires with different time–space scales, it is shown that the amplitude of the fluctuation in ROS is proportional to the average value of the ROS and that the frequency of oscillation varies with the type of fire, and for a given fuel, increases with the average ROS. In fast-spreading fires, the large amplitude of ROS increase and sudden decrease promote the intermittent behaviour of the fire. In general, the amplitude and period required for the ROS increase are larger than for its decrease. However, the acceleration and deceleration phases in junction fires do not follow this rule, suggesting the existence of different convective processes of interaction between the flow and fire. This oscillation explains the variability in many fires at all scales and challenges the current interpretation based on the three factors affecting fire spread and the classification of wind or topography-driven fires.

Online Link(s):
Viegas, Domingos Xavier; Raposo, Jorge R.; Ribeiro, Carlos; Reis, Luís; Abouali, Abdelrahman; Ribeiro, Luís M.; Viegas, Carlos. 2022. On the intermittent nature of forest fire spread - part 2. International Journal of Wildland Fire 31(10):967-981.