Low Scale Fire Propagation Simulator

To capture the behaviour of suppression fires

Why is it so important to use computer models to simulate wildland fires and to analyse their behaviour? Fire propagation models can be used to design the management of forests that may be subject to wildfires one day. Fire simulators are not only used to simulate potential wildfires but also to point out methods of wildfire control. Available tools are based on either 2D (simplistic empirical based) or 3D (complicated physical based) spatial representations, the latter requiring very heavy computational capability. The UNINA team, University of Naples, in the Fire Paradox project, has developed a new model which is characterized by an intermediate level compared to other existing models, and which includes wind effects and fire feedbacks on wind to capture the behaviour of suppression fires.


Who will be interested in this product and why?

Fire fighters, researches and students are going to be interested in this product because the tool will allow the investigation of different scenarios of fuel heterogeneity and wind conditions in both real and simplified theoretical situations.

What are the innovative features?

The innovative aspects are the coupling of 2D wind and convection models with combustion (heat production) processes. The model provides a transparent description of the effects of scale representation of fuel properties and convection processes.

How does it serve the European cause and promotes the philosophy of Fire Paradox?

The model is an advanced tool for teaching applications and a powerful demonstrator of the philosophy of Fire Paradox able to show the interactions between wind and fire according to fuel heterogeneity in different landscape scenarios.

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General objectives

The Fire Paradox Low Scale Fire Propagation Simulator, characterised by an intermediate level between simple 2D models and physically based 3D models, has a flexible interface to support application under various conditions in terms of fuel heterogeneity, and wind/fire interactions. Its aim is to assess fire behaviour (rate of spread in XY directions) for teaching purposes on a stand-alone, or on Web-based applications.

The main functions are as follows:
- Time resolution: not more than one minute
- Spatial scale: 1 to 10 km2
- Size of fire: several hectares
- Interface: stand-alone
- Data needed: wind direction and intensity, fuel load distribution, moisture conditions (data or output from pre-processing water relation model)
- Wind model required: coupled with WASP
- Availability from the field: throughout a Personal Digital Assistant
- Input data: high resolution horizontal fuel data (less than 5 m), optional description of vertical (Z) information on fuel layers
- Simulations models: combustion, convection, wind / fire feedback, radiation, and fire spotting.

Innovative aspects

The most important innovation lies in the modular integration of some different sub-models:
- Combustion process handled by a sub-model in each raster cell
- Wind model: wind composed by meteorological external conditions adjusted at different heights (Digital Elevation Model, surface roughness) and air movement induced by convection due to fire and including resistance to wind inside the canopy;
- Propagation processes: convection including wind / fire feedback, radiation and fire spotting.
Knowledge transfer is organised through Internet.

Low Scale Fire Propagation Simulator Screenshot

Low Scale Fire Propagation Simulator Low Scale Fire Propagation Simulator

Low Scale Fire Propagation Simulator - http//www.fireparadox.org

Online Multimedia Plateform : Prototype