Deriving a Shrub Fire Model

three images of shrubs, including infrared

FireCenter scientists are working with combustion engineers to develop physics-based fire behavior simulations. We use laser scanning to describe the structural complexity of shrubs, simulate fire propagation through them, and validate simulations against measurements of shrub fires in a burn chamber. Hundreds of chaparral shrub specimens have been scanned and burned in controlled experiments, and combustion characteristics are being correlated with fuel structure. This will produce a computationally efficient, widely applicable fire model for shrub fuels. Experiments with sagebrush are just beginning in this ongoing project.