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Project ID: 15-1-04-9

Year: 2015

Date Started: 10/01/2015

Ending Date:  09/30/2018

Title: Multi-Scale Study of Ember Production and Transport under Multiple Environmental and Fuel Conditions

Project Proposal Abstract: A significant mechanism for wildland fire spread is ignition by embers lofted ahead of a flaming front (fire spotting). Little is known about ember production, transport and subsequent ignition of new fuel, despite the significant threat posed from flame spotting at wildland-urban intermixes and during intense burns. This is significant because ember production and subsequent fire spotting ignition data are needed for fire models used to inform fire management decisions. In this effort, ember production rates, sizes, velocities and temperatures will be determined using high-speed and infrared cameras. Visible and infrared images will be obtained and particle tracking software will be used to extract the ember data. Measurements will be collected for multiple vegetation and structural types, sizes, moisture contents, fire intensities, and wind speeds. This breadth of testing is enabled by experiments being performed at multiple scales ranging from the laboratory to prescribed burns. This will enable correlations between ember data from prescribed burns and more extensive measurements within the laboratory. Key parameters controlling ember production will be statistically determined from laboratory and field measurements. Correlations and data determined in this study will be used to implement an ember transport algorithm within a numerical wind modeling framework (WindNinja) and shared with the fire community. The algorithm will simulate ember transport as a function of wind speed, direction and ember size, shape and density. WindNinja is currently used throughout the world to simulate surface wind flow in support of fire behavior simulations. The coupled experimental and computational approach will provide essential data for modelling and wildland fire management, establish a methodology for multi-scale fire research, and provide a validated ember transport algorithm to increase the accuracy of models.

Principal Investigator: David L. Blunck

Agency/Organization: Oregon State University

Branch or Dept: College of Engineering

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Cindy D. Gordon

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Budget Contact

Cindy D. Gordon

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

John D. Bailey

Oregon State University


Co-Principal Investigator

Bret W. Butler

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Co-Principal Investigator

Natalie S. Wagenbrenner

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire, Fuel & Smoke Science Program

Funding Cooperator

Bret W. Butler

Forest Service

RMRS-Fire Sciences Lab-Missoula

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


Northern Rockies









State Lands


Interior West


Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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