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Project ID: 07-1-5-01

Year: 2007

Date Started: 06/28/2007

Date Completed: 09/30/2010

Title: Using a Physics-Based Model to Characterize Spotting Potential for Protection of the Wildland Urban Interface

Project Proposal Abstract: To provide critical spotting information to fire managers and the developers of operational wildfire behavior models,a physics-baseds pottingm odel will be developed and used to characterize potential spotting hazard in complex wildland urban interface( WUI) fires. The spread of large-scale fires is a result of two types of phenomena contiguous spread and spotting. Spotting is the phenomenon by which burning material, called firebrands, a relofted by the plume, transported via the fire-influenced wind field, and deposited to ignite new fires ahead of the contiguous fire front. Spotting behavior depends on the strong coupling between fire, atmosphere, topography, and fuels and is therefore difficult to characterize without adequate methods of accounting for this coupling. Predictions of spotting can be achieved by integrating physical firebrand models into HIGRAD/FIRETEC, a premier physics-based model for the prediction of contiguous fire spread. As a preliminary research project, firebrand transport in simple wildfire scenarios was studied using physical models as a postprocessor of HIGRAD/FIRETEC. Incorporating the firebrand model into HIGRAD/FIRETEC will provide a mechanism to predict spotting locations in a wide range of conditions including rugged terrain, gusty winds, and non-homogeneous fuels. The coupled effects of fuel types/conditions fuel heterogeneity, atmospheric wind speed/gust/turbulence, topography, and human-made structures will be studied through the HIGRAD/FIRETEC_SPOT model and be characterized. The knowledge obtained from this work will be practical information for fire and land management personnel. The proposed work will significantly increase our ability to assess risk, develop mitigation safety strategies ,and manage fuels in the WUI.

Principal Investigator: Rodman R. Linn

Agency/Organization: DOE-Department of Energy

Branch or Dept: LANL-Computational Earth Science

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Eunmo X. Koo

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Earth and Environmental Sciences Division

Federal Cooperator

Carleton B. Edminster

Forest Service

RMRS-Southwest Forest Science Complex

Federal Fiscal Representative

Judy A. Perry

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Fort Collins

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network




Great Basin

Great Plains

Lake States

Oak Woodlands

Northern Rockies




Southern Rockies



There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   3127 Journal Article International Journal of Wildland Fire

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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