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Estimating the amount of water required to extinguish wildfires under different conditions and in various fuel types
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering. (MERO)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8326-2860
2012 (English)In: International journal of wildland fire, ISSN 1049-8001, Vol. 21, no 5, 525-536 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In wildland fires where water is used as the primary extinguishing agent, one of the issues of wildfire suppression is estimating how much water is required to extinguish a certain section of the fire. In order to use easily distinguished and available indicators, the flame length and the area of the active combustion zone were chosen as suitable for the modelling of extinguishing requirements. Using Byram's and Thomas' equations, the heat release rate per unit length of fire front was calculated for low-intensity surface fires, fires with higher wind conditions, fires in steep terrain and high-intensity crown fires. Based on the heat release rate per unit length of fire front, the critical water flow rate was calculated for the various cases. Further, the required amount of water for a specific active combustion zone area was calculated for various fuel models. Finally, the results for low-intensity surface fires were validated against fire experiments. The calculated volumes of water can be used both during the preparatory planning for incidents as well as during firefighting operations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 21, no 5, 525-536 p.
Keyword [en]
active combustion zone, critical water application rate, fire point theory, flame length, suppression
National Category
Natural Sciences Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-17793DOI: 10.1071/WF11022ISI: 000307175200006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84864925492OAI: diva2:588138
Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2013-12-16Bibliographically approved

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Hansen, Rickard
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