International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Evaluation of a very simple model for predicting the moisture content of eucalypt litter

Jason J. Sharples A C and Richard H. D. McRae B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Applied and Industrial Mathematics Research Group, School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia.

B ACT Emergency Services Agency, GPO Box 158, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: j.sharples@adfa.edu.au

International Journal of Wildland Fire 20(8) 1000-1005 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF11006
Submitted: 12 January 2011  Accepted: 16 February 2011   Published: 17 October 2011

Abstract

Operational prediction of wildfire behaviour requires assessment of dead fuel moisture content to an acceptable degree of accuracy. Ideally, the methods of assessment should be simple enough to implement in most operational settings, including those where computational power is a constraining factor. In this short note, we describe a very simple model for estimating dead fine fuel moisture content and compare its predictions with several fuel moisture observations and the predictions of a complex process-based model and two of its simplifications. Remarkably, the very simple model is shown to fit the observational data just as well, if not slightly better, than the more sophisticated models. The result highlights the issues of engineering and parsimony of models for dead fuel moisture content. These issues are briefly discussed.


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