Fire Ember Production from Wildland and Structural Fuels

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Fires in the wildland and in wildland urban interface (WUI) communities are a significant problem in today’s society. These fires have massive economic impacts both in the structural loss, affecting businesses and households, and the cost of fire suppression and re-forestation. Fire spread by ember production is considered a major factor in wildland and WUI fires.
This research project will investigate fire ember production from burning wildland and structural (construction materials) fuels in the wildland and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). This will address spot fires caused by wind-blown burning embers (also called firebrands) that are a significant mechanism of fire spread in the wildland and WUI.

Project goal: This purpose of the project is to investigate fire ember production from wildland and structural (construction materials) fuels in the wildland and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). Specific objectives include the following:

  • Determine the basic thermal decomposition and combustion properties (at small scale) of selected fuels under a range of heating rate, radiant heat flux, and moisture content (MC) levels.
  • Determine the production rate, mass, shape and dimensions of embers (at full-scale) from burning wildland and structural fuels under a range of wind, radiant heat flux, and MC levels.
  • Determine the travel distance of embers as a function of mass, shape and dimensions (at full-scale) under a range of wind speed and radiant heat flux levels.
  • Determine the burning duration and intensity of embers as a function of mass and shape (at small and intermediate scales) under a range of wind, radiant heat flux, and MC levels. 

Download the project summary(PDF, 308 KB)