Presentation Title

Wind Tunnel Experiments Investigating Transition and Spread Characteristics in Chaparral Crown Fires

Faculty Mentor

Professor Marko Princevac, Graduate Student Jeanette Cobian

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

HARBESON 59

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

engineering_computer_science

Abstract

In recent years, Southern California has experienced an increased amounts of wildfires. These wildfires are becoming harder to contain because of their spread rate and intensity. In such region, there is a specific category of wildfires known as chaparral crown fires. Chaparral crown fires have two fuel layers, an above ground surface fuel layer comprised of dry fuels and an elevated crown fuel layer comprised of live fuels. Parameters known to affect chaparral fire behavior include wind and surface-crown fuel distance. By varying and studying the influence of these parameters on chaparral fires, we aim to better understand key behavioral features of this type of wildfire. Our experiments recreated ideal chaparral fires in a wind tunnel. Flame geometry and behavior under varying wind and surface-crown distance parameters was analyzed. Analyzed features include surface flame tilt and base length along with the time for the flame to transition to the crown layer. Flame tilt was typically observed in cases with wind. We observed that as the tilt angle increases the surface flame’s base length increases. Along with this, when flame tilt occurs, the time to transition to the crown layer is slower and less frequent. These results can help to explain important characteristics of Southern California chaparral crown fires such that current physical models can be improved.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

Wind Tunnel Experiments Investigating Transition and Spread Characteristics in Chaparral Crown Fires

HARBESON 59

In recent years, Southern California has experienced an increased amounts of wildfires. These wildfires are becoming harder to contain because of their spread rate and intensity. In such region, there is a specific category of wildfires known as chaparral crown fires. Chaparral crown fires have two fuel layers, an above ground surface fuel layer comprised of dry fuels and an elevated crown fuel layer comprised of live fuels. Parameters known to affect chaparral fire behavior include wind and surface-crown fuel distance. By varying and studying the influence of these parameters on chaparral fires, we aim to better understand key behavioral features of this type of wildfire. Our experiments recreated ideal chaparral fires in a wind tunnel. Flame geometry and behavior under varying wind and surface-crown distance parameters was analyzed. Analyzed features include surface flame tilt and base length along with the time for the flame to transition to the crown layer. Flame tilt was typically observed in cases with wind. We observed that as the tilt angle increases the surface flame’s base length increases. Along with this, when flame tilt occurs, the time to transition to the crown layer is slower and less frequent. These results can help to explain important characteristics of Southern California chaparral crown fires such that current physical models can be improved.