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Ignition of Mulch and Grasses by Firebrands in Wildland-Urban Interface Fires.


pdf icon Ignition of Mulch and Grasses by Firebrands in Wildland-Urban Interface Fires. (628 K)
Manzello, S. L.; Cleary, T. G.; Shields, J. R.; Yang, J. C.

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 15, No. 3, 427-431, 2006.

Keywords:

wildland/urban interface; ignition; firebrands; mulch; grasses; fuel beds; wildland fires; urban fires; vegetation

Abstract:

Firebrands or embers are produced as trees and structures burn in wildlandDSurban interface (WUI) fires. It is believed that firebrand showers created in WUI fires may ignite vegetation and mulch located near homes and structures. This, in turn, may lead to ignition of homes and structures due to burning vegetation and mulch. Understanding the ignition events that are due to firebrands is important to mitigate fire spread in communities. To assess the ignition propensity of such materials, simulated firebrands of uniform geometry, but in two different sizes, were allowed to impinge on fuel beds of shredded hardwood mulch, pine straw mulch, and cut grass. The moisture content of these materials was varied. Firebrands were suspended and ignited within the test cell of the Fire Emulator/Detector Evaluator (FE/DE) apparatus. The FE/DE was used to investigate the influence of an air flow on the ignition propensity of a fuel bed. Ignition regime maps were generated for each material tested as a function of impacting firebrand size, number of deposited firebrands, air flow, and material moisture content.