Effect of flame zone depth on the correlation of flame length with fireline intensity
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Mark A. Finney; Torben P. Grumstrup
Publication Year: 2023

Cataloging Information

  • backing fire
  • Byram intensity
  • fireline intensity
  • flame length
  • flame zone
  • heading
  • line fire
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 23, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 68430


Background: Previously established correlations of flame length L with fireline intensity IB are based on theory and data which showed that flame zone depth D of a line fire could be neglected if L was much greater than D.

Aims: We evaluated this correlation for wildland fires where D is typically a non-negligible proportion of L (i.e. roughly L/D < ~2).

Methods: Experiments were conducted to measure flame length L from line-source fires using a gas burner where IB and D were controlled independently (0.014 ≤ L/D ≤ 13.6).

Key results: The resulting correlation showed D significantly reduced L for a given IB over the entire range of observations and was in accord with independent data from spreading fires. Flame length is reduced because the horizontal extent of deep flame zones entrains more air for combustion than assumed by theory involving only the vertical flame profile.

Conclusions: Analysis suggested that the noted variability among published correlations of L with IB may be partly explained by varying L/D ratios typical of wildland fires.

Implications: Fire behaviour modelling that relies on correlations of L with IB for scaling of heat transfer processes would likely benefit by including the effects of D.

Online Link(s):
Finney, Mark A.; Grumstrup, Torben P. 2023. Effect of flame zone depth on the correlation of flame length with fireline intensity. International Journal of Wildland Fire 32(7):1135-1147.