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The CAED Framework for the Development of Performance-Based Design at the Wildland–Urban Interface
Article

Wildfire Rates of Spread in Grasslands under Critical Burning Conditions

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CSIRO, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
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Wild Rose Fire Behaviour, 180–50434 Range Road 232, Leduc County, AB T4X 0L1, Canada
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Country Fire Authority, P.O. Box 701, Mt Waverley, VIC 3149, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Russ Parsons and Alistair M. S. Smith
Received: 11 March 2022 / Revised: 31 March 2022 / Accepted: 12 April 2022 / Published: 14 April 2022
An analysis of a dataset (n = 58) of high-intensity wildfire observations in cured grasslands from southern Australia revealed a simple relationship suitable for quickly obtaining a first approximation of a fire’s spread rate under low dead fuel moisture contents and strong wind speeds. It was found that the forward rate of fire spread is approximately 20% of the average 10-m open wind speed. The data on rate of fire spread and 10 m open wind speed ranged from 1.6 to 17 and 20 to 62 km h−1, respectively. The validity of the resulting rule of thumb was examined across a spectrum of burning conditions and its performance was contrasted against that of established empirical-based fire spread models for three different grassland fuel conditions currently used operationally in Australia. The 20% rule of thumb for grassfires produced error statistics comparable to that of the fire spread rate model for grazed or cut grass fuel conditions as recommended for general use during the summer fire season in southern Australia. View Full-Text
Keywords: fine dead fuel moisture content; fire behaviour; fire danger; fire prediction; fire propagation; fire safety; fire weather; grass fuel condition; model error; wind speed fine dead fuel moisture content; fire behaviour; fire danger; fire prediction; fire propagation; fire safety; fire weather; grass fuel condition; model error; wind speed
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cruz, M.G.; Alexander, M.E.; Kilinc, M. Wildfire Rates of Spread in Grasslands under Critical Burning Conditions. Fire 2022, 5, 55. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5020055

AMA Style

Cruz MG, Alexander ME, Kilinc M. Wildfire Rates of Spread in Grasslands under Critical Burning Conditions. Fire. 2022; 5(2):55. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5020055

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cruz, Miguel G., Martin E. Alexander, and Musa Kilinc. 2022. "Wildfire Rates of Spread in Grasslands under Critical Burning Conditions" Fire 5, no. 2: 55. https://doi.org/10.3390/fire5020055

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