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International Journal of Wildland Fire
  Published on behalf of the International Association of Wildland Fire
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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine-scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management: Part II – an exploratory study of the impact of simulated winds on fire growth simulations

Forthofer Jason, Bret Butler, Charles (Chuck) McHugh, Mark Finney, Larry Bradshaw, Richard (Rick) Stratton, Kyle Shannon, Natalie Wagenbrenner


The impact of fine resolution wind simulations on fire growth simulations is explored. The wind models are: 1) a wind field consisting of constant speed and direction applied everywhere over the area of interest; 2) a tool based on the solution of the conservation of mass only (termed mass-conserving model); and 3) a tool based on a solution of conservation of mass and momentum (termed momentum-conserving model). Fire simulations use the FARSITE fire simulation system to simulate fire growth for one hypothetical fire and two actual wildfires. The momentum-conserving model produced fire perimeters that most closely matched the observed fire spread, followed by the mass-conserving model and then the uniform winds. The comparisons suggest that momentum-conserving and mass-conserving models can reduce the sensitivity of fire growth simulations to input wind direction, which is advantageous to fire growth modelers. The mass-conserving and momentum-conserving wind models may be useful for operational use as decision support tools in wildland fire management, prescribed fire planning, smoke dispersion modeling, and firefighter and public safety.

WF12090  Accepted 09 May 2014
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