Modeling Low Intensity Fires: Lessons Learned from 2012 RxCADRE

  • Authors: Linn, Rodman R.; Winterkamp, Judith L.; Furman, James H.; Williams, Brett; Hiers, J. Kevin; Jonko, Alexandra; O’Brien, Joseph J.; Yedinak, Kara M.; Goodrick, Scott
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Atmosphere
  • DOI: 10.3390/atmos12020139

Abstract

Coupled fire-atmosphere models are increasingly being used to study low-intensity fires, such as those that are used in prescribed fire applications. Thus, the need arises to evaluate these models for their ability to accurately represent fire spread in marginal burning conditions. In this study, wind and fuel data collected during the Prescribed Fire Combustion and Atmospheric Dynamics Research Experiments (RxCADRE) fire campaign were used to generate initial and boundary conditions for coupled fire-atmosphere simulations. We present a novel method to obtain fuels representation at the model grid scale using a combination of imagery, machine learning, and feld sampling. Several methods to generate wind input conditions for the model from eight different anemometer measurements are explored. We find a strong sensitivity of fire outcomes to wind inputs. This result highlights the critical need to include variable wind fields as inputs in modeling marginal fire conditions. This work highlights the complexities of comparing physics-based model results against observations, which are more acute in marginal burning conditions, where stronger sensitivities to local variability in wind and fuels drive fire outcomes

  • Citation: Linn, Rodman R.; Winterkamp, Judith L.; Furman, James H.; Williams, Brett; Hiers, J. Kevin; Jonko, Alexandra; O’Brien, Joseph J.; Yedinak, Kara M.; Goodrick, Scott. 2021. Modeling Low Intensity Fires: Lessons Learned from 2012 RxCADRE. Atmosphere. 12(2): 139. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020139.
  • Keywords: fire modeling, low intensity fire, prescribed fire, model-observation comparison
  • Posted Date: July 12, 2021
  • Modified Date: July 13, 2021
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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