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Fire-Induced Winds in the 20 October 1991 Oakland Hills Fire.

pdf icon Fire-Induced Winds in the 20 October 1991 Oakland Hills Fire. (818 K)
Trelles, J. J.; Pagni, P. J.

International Association for Fire Safety Science. Fire Safety Science. Proceedings. Fifth (5th) International Symposium. March 3-7, 1997, Melbourne, Australia, Intl. Assoc. for Fire Safety Science, Boston, MA, Hasemi, Y., Editor(s), 911-922 pp, 1997.


National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD


fire research; fire safety; fire science; wildland fires; urban fires; fire models; mass fires; wind effects; urban/wildland interface


The winds generated at 11:45 a.m. by 38 fires and at 12:00 p.m. by 259 fires for the 20 October 1991 Oakland Fire are simulated using the Baum and McCaffrey mass fire model. Each house is modeled as having a 50 MW heat release rate at the time of the computation. for each single fire, the flame tip is 15 m high, the maximum vertical velocity is 16 m/s and the maximum radial velocity is 2.4 m/s. At 11:45 a.m., for the mass fire the maximum induced wind is 2.6 m/s. The maximum vertical velocity is 14 m/s. At 12:00 p.m., the maximum horizontal velocity is 13 m/s. The maximum vertical velocity is 26 m/s. Results indicate that the strong fire-induced winds at and after 12:00 p.m. contributed to the post-noon decrease in the fire spread rate in the ambient windward direction.