Predicting wind-driven wild land fire size and shape
Document Type: Report
Author(s): Hal E. Anderson
Publication Year: 1983

Cataloging Information

  • fire growth
  • fire shape
  • fire size
  • fire spread
  • wind
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Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 7, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 8149


Documents the analysis of wind tunnel experiments on fire spread that produced a double ellipse concept of fire area growth. This provides ways of estimating size (area), shape (perimeter), and length to width ratio of a wind-driven wild land fire. The only inputs needed are estimates of the windspeed and the expected fire spread distance. Equations are available to estimate flank and backing fire rates of spread. Graphs show the relationship of wind to fire size and shape properties. Fire growth in terms of perimeter and area is available to aid fire management activities involving treatment or suppression.

[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):
Link to this document (1.6 MB [OCR]; pdf)
Link to this document (2.1 MB [PRI]; pdf)
Anderson, Hal E. 1983. Predicting wind-driven wild land fire size and shape. Research Paper INT-RP-305. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 26 p.