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Fire, Volume 6, Issue 5 (May 2023) – 42 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Wildfires can significantly intensify the hydrophobicity (or water repellency) of soil due to changes in the chemical composition of soil organic compounds.  Soil water repellency induced by fires can lead to the reduction of soil infiltration and erosion, which can lead to surface runoff, floods, and landslides. In recent decades, the frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires have increased not only in the western U.S., but also around the world. This increase is linked to a rapidly changing climate and fuel buildup caused by fire suppression. The increase in wildland fires poses the questions: what are the effects of wildfires on soil’s hydrologic responses (e.g., water repellency), and what is the contribution of organic compounds in post-fire soils to water repellency? View this paper
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60 pages, 9960 KiB  
Concept Paper
Towards an Integrated Approach to Wildfire Risk Assessment: When, Where, What and How May the Landscapes Burn
by Emilio Chuvieco, Marta Yebra, Simone Martino, Kirsten Thonicke, Marta Gómez-Giménez, Jesus San-Miguel, Duarte Oom, Ramona Velea, Florent Mouillot, Juan R. Molina, Ana I. Miranda, Diogo Lopes, Michele Salis, Marin Bugaric, Mikhail Sofiev, Evgeny Kadantsev, Ioannis Z. Gitas, Dimitris Stavrakoudis, George Eftychidis, Avi Bar-Massada, Alex Neidermeier, Valerio Pampanoni, M. Lucrecia Pettinari, Fatima Arrogante-Funes, Clara Ochoa, Bruno Moreira and Domingos Viegasadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Fire 2023, 6(5), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050215 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 9154
Abstract
This paper presents a review of concepts related to wildfire risk assessment, including the determination of fire ignition and propagation (fire danger), the extent to which fire may spatially overlap with valued assets (exposure), and the potential losses and resilience to those losses [...] Read more.
This paper presents a review of concepts related to wildfire risk assessment, including the determination of fire ignition and propagation (fire danger), the extent to which fire may spatially overlap with valued assets (exposure), and the potential losses and resilience to those losses (vulnerability). This is followed by a brief discussion of how these concepts can be integrated and connected to mitigation and adaptation efforts. We then review operational fire risk systems in place in various parts of the world. Finally, we propose an integrated fire risk system being developed under the FirEUrisk European project, as an example of how the different risk components (including danger, exposure and vulnerability) can be generated and combined into synthetic risk indices to provide a more comprehensive wildfire risk assessment, but also to consider where and on what variables reduction efforts should be stressed and to envisage policies to be better adapted to future fire regimes. Climate and socio-economic changes entail that wildfires are becoming even more a critical environmental hazard; extreme fires are observed in many areas of the world that regularly experience fire, yet fire activity is also increasing in areas where wildfires were previously rare. To mitigate the negative impacts of fire, those responsible for managing risk must leverage the information available through the risk assessment process, along with an improved understanding on how the various components of risk can be targeted to improve and optimize the many strategies for mitigation and adaptation to an increasing fire risk. Full article
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14 pages, 3624 KiB  
Article
Fire Impacts on Water Resources: A Remote Sensing Methodological Proposal for the Brazilian Cerrado
by Gustavo Willy Nagel, Lino Augusto Sander De Carvalho, Renata Libonati, Andressa Karen da Silva Nemirovsky and Mercedes Maria da Cunha Bustamante
Fire 2023, 6(5), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050214 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2681
Abstract
Fire events are increasing in frequency, duration, and severity worldwide. The combination of ash and uncovered land might increase the transportation of pollutants into the streams, potentially affecting the water supply systems. The intensifying fires in Brazil’s Cerrado biome, responsible for 70% of [...] Read more.
Fire events are increasing in frequency, duration, and severity worldwide. The combination of ash and uncovered land might increase the transportation of pollutants into the streams, potentially affecting the water supply systems. The intensifying fires in Brazil’s Cerrado biome, responsible for 70% of the country’s water supply, give rise to profound ecological, climatic, and socio-economic concerns that require urgent and effective mitigation strategies. However, little attention has been paid to the consequences of fire events on water resources in the region. In this study, the Fire Impact on Water Resources Index (FIWRI) is proposed and applied in six different water supply watersheds to analyse fire behaviour from 2003 to 2020 and its potential impact on inland water bodies. This is the first remote-sensing-based index for fire impact on water resources developed for the Brazilian territory, to support water management on a watershed scale and uses variables such as terrain slope, river proximity, and vegetation to classify fire events as having a low to high potential to contaminate water bodies. We observed that all six water supply watersheds suffered frequent fire events, with different FIWRI proportions, which ranged from High to Low FIWRI. The proposed index could be used in real-time fire monitoring alert systems in order to support water supply management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Assessment of Fire Impacts on Hydrology)
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24 pages, 2471 KiB  
Review
A Critical Review of Fire Tests and Safety Systems in Road Tunnels: Limitations and Open Points
by Mara Lombardi, Davide Berardi and Marta Galuppi
Fire 2023, 6(5), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050213 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Fire tests are used to determine whether fire protection products meet the minimum performance criteria set out in codes and legislation, as well as to certify these products. Experimental large-scale fires are used to test the performance of safety systems in tunnels, which [...] Read more.
Fire tests are used to determine whether fire protection products meet the minimum performance criteria set out in codes and legislation, as well as to certify these products. Experimental large-scale fires are used to test the performance of safety systems in tunnels, which are confined environments with a high probability of accidents and significant consequences due to the evolution of the event and whether there is the capability of counteracting it by safety measures. In this study, we conducted a systematic literature review following PRISMA guidelines. We searched the Scopus and Web of Science databases for publications from 2013 to 2022, resulting in a selection of 72 articles. An analysis was conducted on the following main topics: tunnel fires, fire characteristics (measured variables, spread, and smoke), model-scale tests, automatic shutdown systems, and ventilation solutions. One of the most important contributions of this study is the suggestion that fire tests represent an effective method not only to prevent fire events in tunnels but also to ensure the resilience of the infrastructure. Based on this state-of-the-art literature review, future tunnels could be designed by linking new smart technology and artificial intelligence to create interactive and high-performing safety systems. Full article
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28 pages, 16402 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Numerical Behavior of Encased Pultruded GFRP Beams under Elevated and Ambient Temperatures
by Enas M. Mahmood, Teghreed H. Ibrahim, Abbas A. Allawi and Ayman El-Zohairy
Fire 2023, 6(5), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050212 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
In this research, experimental and numerical studies were carried out to investigate the performance of encased glass-fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) beams under fire. The test specimens were divided into two peer groups to be tested under the effect of ambient and elevated temperatures. The [...] Read more.
In this research, experimental and numerical studies were carried out to investigate the performance of encased glass-fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) beams under fire. The test specimens were divided into two peer groups to be tested under the effect of ambient and elevated temperatures. The first group was statically tested to investigate the monotonic behavior of the specimens. The second group was exposed to fire loading first and then statically tested to explore the residual behavior of the burned specimens. Adding shear connectors and web stiffeners to the GFRP beam was the main parameter in this investigation. Moreover, service loads were applied to the tested beams during the fire. Utilizing shear connectors, web stiffeners, and both enhanced the load-carrying capacities of the encased beams by 100.6%, 97.3%, and 130.8%, respectively. Comparisons between the burned and unburned peer beams were presented with losses in the load-carrying capacity of the burned beams. These losses were the highest in the cases of shear connectors and web stiffeners due to the obtained severe damage, which led to more reductions in the residual behavior of the burned beams. Numerical analyses were performed using the general-purpose finite element (FE) ABAQUS package to conduct a parametric study. The investigated parameters included the effect of the exposure duration and the temperature level. The results of the FE analysis showed good agreement with the experimental results. Additional reductions in the residual capacities of the fire-damaged beams were observed due to exposure to longer fire durations. The improvements in the beam capacities due to using shear connectors and web stiffeners relative to the reference beams under the same exposure time decreased as the exposure duration increased. Furthermore, increasing the temperature to 700 °C, 800 °C, 900 °C, and 950 °C caused reductions in the residual capacities by about 25%, 45%, 70%, and 80%, respectively, for the encased beams in comparison to their peers at ambient temperature. Full article
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16 pages, 12781 KiB  
Article
Acoustic Based Fire Event Detection System in Underground Utility Tunnels
by Byung-Jin Lee, Mi-Suk Lee and Woo-Sug Jung
Fire 2023, 6(5), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050211 - 20 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1390
Abstract
Underground utility tunnels (UUTs) are convenient for the integrated management of various infrastructure facilities. They ensure effective control of underground facilities and reduce occupied space. However, aging UUTs require effective management and preventive measures for fire safety. The fundamental problems in operating UUTs [...] Read more.
Underground utility tunnels (UUTs) are convenient for the integrated management of various infrastructure facilities. They ensure effective control of underground facilities and reduce occupied space. However, aging UUTs require effective management and preventive measures for fire safety. The fundamental problems in operating UUTs are the frequent occurrence of mold, corrosion, and damage caused to finishing materials owing to inadequate waterproofing, dehumidification, and ventilation facilities, which result in corrosion-related electrical leakage in wiring and cables. To prevent this, an abnormal sound detection technology is developed in this study based on acoustic sensing. An acoustic sensor is used to detect electric sparks in the moldy environments of UUTs using a system to collect and analyze the sound generated in the UUTs. We targeted the sound that had the highest impact on detecting electric sparks and performed U-Net-based noise reduction and two-dimensional convolutional neural network-based abnormal sound detection. A mock experiment was conducted to verify the performance of the proposed model. The results indicated that local and spatial features could capture the internal characteristics of both abnormal and normal sounds. The superior performance of the proposed model verified that the local and spatial features of electric sparks are crucial for detecting abnormal sounds. Full article
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15 pages, 14522 KiB  
Article
Pastoral Burning and Its Contribution to the Fire Regime of Alto Minho, Portugal
by Emanuel Oliveira and Paulo M. Fernandes
Fire 2023, 6(5), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050210 - 19 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2289
Abstract
Alto Minho (in northwestern Iberia) is one of the European regions most affected by fires. Many of these fires originate from rangeland management of Atlantic heathlands, and, while being illegal, often are not actively suppressed. In this study, pastoral fires (autumn-to-spring fires unrecorded [...] Read more.
Alto Minho (in northwestern Iberia) is one of the European regions most affected by fires. Many of these fires originate from rangeland management of Atlantic heathlands, and, while being illegal, often are not actively suppressed. In this study, pastoral fires (autumn-to-spring fires unrecorded by authorities), spring wildfires, and summer wildfires were independently mapped and dated from remote sensing. Alto Minho burned at a mean annual rate of 5.0% of the territory between 2001 and 2020. Pastoral burning totalled 40,788 hectares during the period, accounting for 20% of the total burnt area. Rangeland burning occurs mostly from December to April, the rainiest months that guarantee the conditions for pasture renewal and fire self-extinction. The mean fire return interval of pastoral burning is slightly higher than that of wildfires (13 years vs. 11 years), except in part of the inner mountains where it dominates fire activity. Pastoral fires are more frequent and largely prevail over wildfires in the parishes with higher livestock quantities. Conversely, the largest wildfires and higher summer burnt areas correspond with very low livestock and nearly non-existing pastoral fires. Traditional fire knowledge should not be overlooked by fire management, as it contributes to more sustainable fire regimes and ecosystems. Full article
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19 pages, 4203 KiB  
Article
Numerical Assessment of Safe Separation Distance in the Wildland–Urban Interfaces
by Jacky Fayad, Gilbert Accary, Frédéric Morandini, François-Joseph Chatelon, Lucile Rossi, Thierry Marcelli, Dominique Cancellieri, Valérie Cancellieri, Yassine Rahib, Dominique Morvan, Sofiane Meradji, Antoine Pieri, Jean-Yves Duret and Jean-Louis Rossi
Fire 2023, 6(5), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050209 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
A safe separation distance (SSD) needs to be considered during firefighting activities (fire suppression or people evacuation) against wildfires. The SSD is of critical interest for both humans and assets located in the wildland–urban interfaces (WUI). In most cases, the safety zone models [...] Read more.
A safe separation distance (SSD) needs to be considered during firefighting activities (fire suppression or people evacuation) against wildfires. The SSD is of critical interest for both humans and assets located in the wildland–urban interfaces (WUI). In most cases, the safety zone models and guidelines assume a flat terrain and only radiant heating. Nevertheless, injuries or damage do not result exclusively from radiant heating. Indeed, convection must be also considered as a significant contribution of heat transfer, particularly in the presence of the combined effects of sloping terrain and a high wind velocity. In this work, a critical case study is considered for the village of Sari-Solenzara in Corsica (France). This site location was selected by the operational staff since high-intensity fire spread is likely to occur in the WUI during wind-blown conditions. This study was carried out for 4 m high shrubland, a sloping terrain of 12° and a wind speed of 16.6 m/s. The numerical simulations were performed using a fully physical fire model, namely, FireStar2D, to investigate a case of fire spreading, which is thought to be representative of most high wildfire risk situations in Corsica. This study is based on the evaluation of the total (radiative and convective) heat flux received by two types of targets (human bodies and buildings) located ahead of the fire front. The results obtained revealed that the radiation was the dominant heat transfer mode in the evaluation of the SSD. In addition, the predictions were consistent with the criterion established by the operational experts, which assumes that in Corsica, a minimum SSD of 50 m is required to keep an equipped firefighter without injury in a fuelbreak named ZAL. This numerical work also provides correlations relating the total heat flux to the SSD. Full article
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16 pages, 4204 KiB  
Article
Study on Thermal Runaway Risk Prevention of Lithium-Ion Battery with Composite Phase Change Materials
by Kai Zhang, Lu Wang, Chenbo Xu, Hejun Wu, Dongmei Huang, Kan Jin and Xiaomeng Xu
Fire 2023, 6(5), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050208 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2354
Abstract
To reduce the thermal runaway risk of lithium-ion batteries, a good thermal management system is critically required. As phase change materials can absorb a lot of heat without the need for extra equipment, they are employed in the thermal management of batteries. The [...] Read more.
To reduce the thermal runaway risk of lithium-ion batteries, a good thermal management system is critically required. As phase change materials can absorb a lot of heat without the need for extra equipment, they are employed in the thermal management of batteries. The thermal management of a Sanyo 26,650 battery was studied in this work by using different composite phase change materials (CPCMs) at different charge–discharge rates. The thorough analysis on the thermal conductivity of CPCMs and the effect of CPCMs was conducted on the maximum surface temperature while charging and discharging. The findings demonstrate the ability of the composite thermal conductivity filler to increase thermal conductivity. It is increased to 1.307 W/(m K) as the ratio of silica and graphene is 1:1 (CPCM-3). The CPCMs can reduce the surface temperature of the cell, and the cooling effect of CPCM-3 is the most obvious, which can reduce the maximum temperature of the cell surface by 13.7 °C and 19 °C under 2 C and 3 C conditions. It is also found that the risk of thermal runaway of batteries under CPCMs thermal management is effectively reduced, ensuring the safe operation of the battery. This research can assist in the safe application of batteries and the development of new energy sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire Safety of the New Emerging Energy)
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14 pages, 4387 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of Downward Flame Propagation in Discontinuous Region of Solid Fuel
by Yeming Zhu, Shengfeng Luo, Yanli Zhao, Yiping Zeng, Guohua Wu, Ruichao Wei and Shutang Sun
Fire 2023, 6(5), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050207 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 1298
Abstract
This paper presents a numerical model that investigates the characteristics of flow, heat, and mass transfer on downward flame propagation in the discontinuous region of solid fuel. Simulations were carried out for various discontinuous distances to analyze the morphology of the flame front [...] Read more.
This paper presents a numerical model that investigates the characteristics of flow, heat, and mass transfer on downward flame propagation in the discontinuous region of solid fuel. Simulations were carried out for various discontinuous distances to analyze the morphology of the flame front and the competition between the “jump” of flame spread and heat transfer from the flame to the unburned area. The results demonstrate that there is a “jump” in the flame propagation in the discontinuous zone, with the flame front exhibiting a defined “acute angle” that undergoes a process from large to small during the flame spreading in the discontinuous area and deflects towards the discontinuous area of the material. The temperature in the discontinuous zone reaches a peak, and the average flame spread rate initially increases and then decreases with the increase of discontinuity distance until the flame spread stops. The study provides valuable insights into the growth and development of fires involving discretely distributed combustible materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire Numerical Simulation)
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14 pages, 1304 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Response of Different Soil Arthropod Communities to Fire: A Case Study from Northwestern Africa
by Mounia EL Khayati, Brahim Chergui, Pablo Barranco, Soumia Fahd, José L. Ruiz, Ahmed Taheri and Xavier Santos
Fire 2023, 6(5), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050206 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1702
Abstract
In recent decades, forest fires in the Mediterranean basin have been increasing in frequency, intensity, and the area burnt. Simultaneously, insects, a group with extraordinary biodiversity that provides vital ecosystem services such as pollination and decomposition, are undergoing a precipitous decline. Unfortunately, the [...] Read more.
In recent decades, forest fires in the Mediterranean basin have been increasing in frequency, intensity, and the area burnt. Simultaneously, insects, a group with extraordinary biodiversity that provides vital ecosystem services such as pollination and decomposition, are undergoing a precipitous decline. Unfortunately, the impact of fire on arthropod communities has been poorly addressed despite the high diversity of taxonomic and functional arthropod groups. Responses to fire can differ considerably, depending on the life history and functional traits of the species. In the present study, we investigate the short-term impact of fire (three years after a blaze) on the abundance and species composition of soil arthropods in a burnt pine forest located in Ceuta (Spain, northwestern Africa). Soil arthropods were collected from pitfall traps in burnt and unburnt pine forest sampling points. In terms of total abundance per taxonomic order, Blattodea and Diptera were the only orders seemingly affected by the fire, whereas other arthropod groups (e.g., Araneae, Coleoptera, and Isopoda) showed no differences. In terms of species composition, Coleoptera and Formicidae (Hymenoptera) communities differed between burnt and unburnt sampling points, having more species associated with burnt areas than with unburnt ones. In burnt areas, some species from open areas built nests, fed in/on the ground, and dispersed over longer distances. Within the unburnt plots, we found more species in vegetated habitats, particularly those with shorter dispersal distances. We conclude that arthropod communities differ between burnt and unburnt sites and that the response of each taxon appears to be related to particular functional traits such as habitat preference (from open to forested landscapes) and ecological specialization (from generalist to specialist species). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Wildfire on Biodiversity)
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14 pages, 5933 KiB  
Article
Post-Fire Seismic Property of Reinforced Concrete Frame Joints with Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Using Numerical Analysis
by Jinyan Wang, Xingchao Yue, Fuli Li, Yuzhou Sun and Ziqi Li
Fire 2023, 6(5), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050205 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 1098
Abstract
This study investigated the post-fire seismic characteristics of reinforced concrete frame joints with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) under low-cycle reciprocating loads through numerical analysis. Finite element simulations were conducted to examine the hysteretic curve, skeleton curve, energy dissipation, and stress distribution of the [...] Read more.
This study investigated the post-fire seismic characteristics of reinforced concrete frame joints with carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) under low-cycle reciprocating loads through numerical analysis. Finite element simulations were conducted to examine the hysteretic curve, skeleton curve, energy dissipation, and stress distribution of the reinforced joints. The findings revealed that, relative to unreinforced joints post-fire, the bearing capacity of the reinforced joints remained essentially unaltered during the elastic phase. However, their ultimate bearing capacity, energy dissipation capacity, and ductility exhibited varying degrees of enhancement. Interestingly, this augmentation did not persist as the number of reinforcement layers increased. The optimal reinforcing effect was observed with the application of two reinforcement layers, resulting in a 30.3% increase in ultimate bearing capacity and a 26.5% improvement in energy dissipation capacity. Moreover, as the axial compression ratio increased, the high-stress zones within the joint expanded, and the failure mode transitioned from plastic damage at the beam end of the joint under low axial compression ratios to column crushing failure under high axial compression ratios. Full article
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15 pages, 334 KiB  
Review
Prescribed Fire in UK Heather-Dominated Blanket Bog Peatlands: A Critical Review of “Carbon Storage and Sequestration by Habitat: A Review of the Evidence (Second Edition)” by Gregg et al., 2021
by Andreas Heinemeyer and Mark A. Ashby
Fire 2023, 6(5), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050204 - 15 May 2023
Viewed by 2261
Abstract
Peatlands are a vast global carbon store. Both climate change and management have shaped peatlands over millennia, sometimes negatively, sometimes positively. Across the globe, prescribed fire is an important and well-recognised vegetation management tool used to promote biodiversity, increase habitat heterogeneity and mitigate [...] Read more.
Peatlands are a vast global carbon store. Both climate change and management have shaped peatlands over millennia, sometimes negatively, sometimes positively. Across the globe, prescribed fire is an important and well-recognised vegetation management tool used to promote biodiversity, increase habitat heterogeneity and mitigate uncontrolled wildfires. However, in the UK, there is an ongoing debate about the efficacy and legitimacy of using prescribed fire as a vegetation management tool. The debate centres around the extent to which prescribed burning is associated with a decline in habitat status and ecological function, especially in relation to carbon storage within heather-dominated blanket bog peatlands. Robust reviews of the evidence base are thus required to disentangle this debate and inform land management policies that ensure the protection and enhancement of blanket bog ecological functioning. Here, we critically review “Carbon storage and sequestration by habitat: a review of the evidence (second edition)” by Gregg et al., 2021. We see the value in synthesising the evidence on this topic but question the methodological approach used by Gregg et al. Another concern is their misrepresentation of evidence relating to prescribed burning impacts on blanket bog ecosystems and carbon budgets. We highlight these issues by focusing on the relevant peatland sections within the review by Gregg et al. and conclude by making a series of recommendations to improve the review’s scientific robustness and, thereby, its value to academics, land managers and policymakers. Full article
17 pages, 14204 KiB  
Article
Indoor Fire Simulation in Low-Rise Teaching Buildings Based on BIM–FDS
by Mengkai Liu and Guoquan Wang
Fire 2023, 6(5), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050203 - 14 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2226
Abstract
School buildings gather a large number of underage students, and the disastrous consequences of fire in such buildings are very serious, which is one of the key concerns of society in fire prevention and control. This study takes a “[” type kindergarten teaching [...] Read more.
School buildings gather a large number of underage students, and the disastrous consequences of fire in such buildings are very serious, which is one of the key concerns of society in fire prevention and control. This study takes a “[” type kindergarten teaching building as the background and constructs a BIM–FDS building fire simulation model to reveal the fire smoke dispersion law under the coupling of the typical building structure and fire protection systems. The results show that the stairwells on both sides of the “[” type building are the main channels for the diffusion of fire smoke, and the asymmetry of the stairwell structure will cause apparent differences in the diffusion of smoke. Using the natural smoke exhaust in the stairwells of low-rise buildings does not aggravate the spread of smoke in the building and is conducive to smoke emissions. The high-pressure water mist system is superior to the water spray system in fire extinguishing and controlling room temperature. While it reduces smoke exhaust performance, it does not adversely affect personnel evacuation. This study systematically reveals the law of diffusion of fire smoke from “[”-type teaching buildings, which can support the design of similar building structures, ventilation, fire protection, and the formulation of fire escape plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Fire Suppression)
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13 pages, 5860 KiB  
Article
Improved Particle Swarm Path Planning Algorithm with Multi-Factor Coupling in Forest Fire Spread Scenarios
by Kaiyi Lin, Lifan Zhang, Lida Huang, Zhili Feng and Tao Chen
Fire 2023, 6(5), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050202 - 13 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
In this paper, a solution based on an improved particle swarm algorithm is proposed for the path planning problem without a road network in forest fire rescue scenarios. The algorithm adopts an adaptive inertia weight and a dynamically updated learning factor strategy to [...] Read more.
In this paper, a solution based on an improved particle swarm algorithm is proposed for the path planning problem without a road network in forest fire rescue scenarios. The algorithm adopts an adaptive inertia weight and a dynamically updated learning factor strategy to enhance the global and local search capabilities of the algorithm. In terms of cost function design, the article considers three factors: path length, terrain slope, and obstacle avoidance ability to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the path. The experimental results show that: (1) the path planning algorithm based on improved particle swarm optimization can effectively avoid spreading wildfire and reach the designated target point with a good “detour” effect; (2) the path planned by the improved PSO algorithm performs better than the original PSO algorithm in terms of fitness evaluation and average slope; and (3) changes in the particle population, dimensions, and learning factors in the particle swarm optimization algorithm can affect the convergence of the final path. Increasing the particle dimensions can bring more reasonable and specific paths; decreasing the learning factor increases the convergence iterations, but also obtains a better path planning solution and higher fitness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire Detection and Public Safety)
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24 pages, 15193 KiB  
Article
Specific Aspects of Modeling Gas Mixture Explosions in the Atmosphere
by Alexander Komarov, Dmitry Korolchenko, Nikolay Gromov, Anton Korolchenko, Mostafa Jafari and Marina Gravit
Fire 2023, 6(5), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050201 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Aspects of mathematical and physical modeling of deflagration explosions emerging during atmospheric (outdoor) accidental explosions are addressed. It has been demonstrated that when physically modeling accidental deflagration explosions, a stoichiometric mixture in the shape of a sphere or hemisphere supported by the ground [...] Read more.
Aspects of mathematical and physical modeling of deflagration explosions emerging during atmospheric (outdoor) accidental explosions are addressed. It has been demonstrated that when physically modeling accidental deflagration explosions, a stoichiometric mixture in the shape of a sphere or hemisphere supported by the ground should be used. This allows us to research the parameters of blast loads for the worst-case accidental scenarios or address the accident using the most conservative approach. A technique has been provided allowing one to create a mixture of a given blend composition in the shape of a sphere or hemisphere supported by the ground in outdoor conditions. It has been demonstrated that there is an ability to conduct modeling studies of accidental atmospheric explosions. We have provided examples of modeling studies of accidental atmospheric explosions; a methodology for analyzing experimental results has also been reviewed. The article discusses the mathematical modeling of outdoor (unobstructed) accidental deflagration explosions. It has been demonstrated that it is most reasonable to base computational experiments on linearized (acoustic) equations of continuum motion, as the visible flame propagation rate emerging during explosive combustion is small (compared to the speed of sound). There has been a satisfactory agreement between the numerical analysis and the experimental data. Full article
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14 pages, 3550 KiB  
Article
Upward Fire Spread Hazard of Vertical Greenery Systems: A Comparative Study with External Thermal Insulation Composite System and Double-Skin Façade
by Tharindu Lakruwan Wickremanayake Karunaratne and Cheuk Lun Chow
Fire 2023, 6(5), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050200 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1467
Abstract
Recent studies have shown that vertical greenery systems (VGS) carry a significant fire threat when not properly looked after. Building on this, the fire hazard of VGS was compared to two other thermally efficient building façade systems (TEBFS), namely external thermal insulation composite [...] Read more.
Recent studies have shown that vertical greenery systems (VGS) carry a significant fire threat when not properly looked after. Building on this, the fire hazard of VGS was compared to two other thermally efficient building façade systems (TEBFS), namely external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS) and double-skin façade (DSF). Numerical simulations were conducted in the fire dynamic simulator (FDS). A fire initiated as a room fire of 1 MW followed by a window-ejected flame on a 12 m tall and 9 m wide front façade with a TEBFS. Three scenarios for each TEBFS were simulated for better comparison. Rapid upward fire spread (UFS) was observed in the VGS scenarios, recording average UFS rates of 8.97, 5.51 and 2.86 cms−1 compared to the scenarios of the other 2 TEBFS where the flame failed to reach the top of the façade within the stipulated simulation time of 300 s. The maximum temperatures reached along the façade in VGS scenarios were much higher than those in the other two TEBFS. In conclusion, the fire hazard of VGS in certain conditions is much higher compared to the fire scenarios of ETICS and DSF that are scrutinised by building codes in many countries for fire safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Compartment Fire and Safety)
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15 pages, 2194 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Study on Reconstruction of Building Thermal Field Based on Iterative Algorithm Acoustic CT
by Hengjie Qin, Jiangqi Wen, Zihe Gao, Lingling Chai and Haowei Yao
Fire 2023, 6(5), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050199 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1354
Abstract
Real-time acquisition and visualization of temperature anomalies in building spaces and 3D temperature field data during fires are of vital importance for fire danger warnings, early rescue operations, evacuation commands, and subsequent fire accident investigations. Taking into account the non-contact, global (planar and [...] Read more.
Real-time acquisition and visualization of temperature anomalies in building spaces and 3D temperature field data during fires are of vital importance for fire danger warnings, early rescue operations, evacuation commands, and subsequent fire accident investigations. Taking into account the non-contact, global (planar and spatial), and high efficiency advantages of acoustic CT temperature measurement technology, this study involved the conducting of exploratory preliminary research in order to provide new ideas for the real-time global perception of information on building fires. The detailed research objective was as follows: obtain the temperature data at any time of a fire based on Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and fit them to form the base temperature distribution diagram at that time. The large ill-conditioned matrix equation of acoustic flight under the scheme of multi-grid division was then constructed. The discrete temperature data of each grid in the building space was obtained by solving the matrix equation based on algebraic reconstruction algorithm (ART) and joint algebraic reconstruction algorithm (SART). The three-dimensional temperature field reconstruction of building space was realized by the interpolation of discrete temperature data. The reconstruction effect of each scheme was evaluated through the error analysis between the reconstruction data and the basic data. The results show that the real-time reconstruction of a 3D temperature field of a building thermal field can be realized based on acoustic CT temperature measurement technology, and the reconstruction algorithm and grid division scheme have a significant control effect on the reconstruction effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Turbulent Combustion Modelling, Experiment and Simulation)
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15 pages, 2701 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Assessment of the Relationship between Land Use/Land Cover Changes and Wildfires in Southern Europe
by Joana Parente, Marj Tonini, Zoi Stamou, Nikos Koutsias and Mário Pereira
Fire 2023, 6(5), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050198 - 11 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2283
Abstract
Wildfires are key drivers of land use/land cover (LULC) dynamics by burning vegetation and affecting human infrastructure. On the contrary, LULC changes (LULCCs) may affect the fire regime by influencing vegetation type, burnable areas, fuel loads and continuity. This study investigates the relationship [...] Read more.
Wildfires are key drivers of land use/land cover (LULC) dynamics by burning vegetation and affecting human infrastructure. On the contrary, LULC changes (LULCCs) may affect the fire regime by influencing vegetation type, burnable areas, fuel loads and continuity. This study investigates the relationship between LULCC and wildfires. We developed a methodology based on different indicators, which allowed us to quantitatively assess and better understand the transitions between LULC classes and burnt area (BA) in Europe in the last two decades (2000–2019). The assessment was performed for the entire European continent and, independently, for each of the five European countries most affected by wildfires: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece. The main results are the following: (i) LULCC analysis revealed a net loss in forests and arable land and a net gain in shrubs; (ii) most of the BA occurred in forests (42% for the whole of Europe), especially in coniferous forests; (iii) transitions from BA generally were to transitional woodland/shrub or, again, to BA. Overall, our results confirm the existence of a strong relationship between wildfires and LULCCs in Europe, which was quantified in the present study. These findings are of paramount importance in fire and environmental system management and ecology. Full article
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19 pages, 3808 KiB  
Article
Effect of Socioeconomic Variables in Predicting Global Fire Ignition Occurrence
by Tichaona Mukunga, Matthias Forkel, Matthew Forrest, Ruxandra-Maria Zotta, Nirlipta Pande, Stefan Schlaffer and Wouter Dorigo
Fire 2023, 6(5), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050197 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
Fires are a pervasive feature of the terrestrial biosphere and contribute large carbon emissions within the earth system. Humans are responsible for the majority of fire ignitions. Physical and empirical models are used to estimate the future effects of fires on vegetation dynamics [...] Read more.
Fires are a pervasive feature of the terrestrial biosphere and contribute large carbon emissions within the earth system. Humans are responsible for the majority of fire ignitions. Physical and empirical models are used to estimate the future effects of fires on vegetation dynamics and the Earth’s system. However, there is no consensus on how human-caused fire ignitions should be represented in such models. This study aimed to identify which globally available predictors of human activity explain global fire ignitions as observed by satellites. We applied a random forest machine learning framework to state-of-the-art global climate, vegetation, and land cover datasets to establish a baseline against which influences of socioeconomic data (cropland fraction, gross domestic product (GDP), road density, livestock density, grazed lands) on fire ignition occurrence were evaluated. Our results showed that a baseline random forest without human predictors captured the spatial patterns of fire ignitions globally, with hotspots over Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Adding single human predictors to the baseline model revealed that human variables vary in their effects on fire ignitions and that of the variables considered GDP is the most vital driver of fire ignitions. A combined model with all human predictors showed that the human variables improve the ignition predictions in most regions of the world, with some regions exhibiting worse predictions than the baseline model. We concluded that an ensemble of human predictors can add value to physical and empirical models. There are complex relationships between the variables, as evidenced by the improvement in bias in the combined model compared to the individual models. Furthermore, the variables tested have complex relationships that random forests may struggle to disentangle. Further work is required to detangle the complex regional relationships between these variables. These variables, e.g., population density, are well documented to have substantial effects on fire at local and regional scales; we determined that these variables may provide more insight at more continental scales. Full article
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19 pages, 15219 KiB  
Article
Analysis of a Novel Proposal Using Temperature and Efficiency to Prevent Fires in Photovoltaic Energy Systems
by Jose Manuel Juarez-Lopez, Jesus Alejandro Franco, Quetzalcoatl Hernandez-Escobedo, David Muñoz-Rodríguez and Alberto-Jesus Perea-Moreno
Fire 2023, 6(5), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050196 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1895
Abstract
Fires in photovoltaic (PV) electrical systems are a real and serious problem because this phenomenon can have severe consequences for the safety of people and the environment. In some cases, fires result from a lack of maintenance or improper installation of PV modules. [...] Read more.
Fires in photovoltaic (PV) electrical systems are a real and serious problem because this phenomenon can have severe consequences for the safety of people and the environment. In some cases, fires result from a lack of maintenance or improper installation of PV modules. It is essential to consider prevention and continuous monitoring of the electrical parameters to minimize these risks, as these factors increase the temperature of the photovoltaic modules. The use of thermal analysis techniques can prevent hotspots and fires in photovoltaic systems; these techniques allow detecting and correcting problems in the installation, such as shadows, dirt, and poor-quality connections in PVs. This paper presents a case study of the implementation of thermal analysis in an installation of photovoltaic modules connected to a solar pumping system to identify the formation of hotspots through thermal images using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Here, a novel methodology is proposed based on the comparison of temperature increases concerning the values of short circuit current, open circuit voltage, and real efficiency of each PV module. In addition, an electrical safety methodology is proposed to design a photovoltaic system that prevents fires caused by hotspots, contemplating critical parameters such as photovoltaic power, number of photovoltaic modules, DC:AC conversion ratio, electrical conductor selection, control devices, and electrical protection; the performance power expected was obtained using standard power test conditions, including irradiance factor, photovoltaic module (PVM) temperature factor, and power reduction factor. Full article
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11 pages, 2438 KiB  
Article
The Role of Climate in Ignition Frequency
by Nicholas Wilson and Marta Yebra
Fire 2023, 6(5), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050195 - 10 May 2023
Viewed by 1512
Abstract
Many fire management agencies aim to detect and suppress all ignitions within their jurisdiction and may benefit from understanding the causes of year-to-year variation. Ignition variation is likely to be associated with climatically driven changes in fuel quantity or moisture in landscapes where [...] Read more.
Many fire management agencies aim to detect and suppress all ignitions within their jurisdiction and may benefit from understanding the causes of year-to-year variation. Ignition variation is likely to be associated with climatically driven changes in fuel quantity or moisture in landscapes where ignition sources vary little over similar temporal scales. We assessed how monthly ignitions varied in south-eastern Australia in response to climate anomalies over approximately nine years. Once accounting for seasonal effects, ignitions increased with temperature and vapour pressure deficit anomalies and decreased with precipitation anomalies. These findings indicate that climatic conditions play a role in limiting ignition frequency via effects on fuel moisture. Our models predicted that warmer and drier conditions during our study caused considerable increases in ignition frequency compared to the long-term average reference period (1961–1990). Like many fire-prone landscapes around the world, our study area is projected to become hotter and drier because of climate change. Fire management agencies will need to improve fire detection and suppression capabilities under a future climate. Full article
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23 pages, 51072 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation of Wildfire Vulnerability in the Wildland–Urban Interfaces of Central Portugal Using the Analytic Network Process
by Adélia N. Nunes, Albano Figueiredo, Carlos D. Pinto and Luciano Lourenço
Fire 2023, 6(5), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050194 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2186
Abstract
Vulnerability assessment is a vital component of wildfire management. This research focuses on the evaluation of wildfire vulnerability in the Central Region of Portugal, an area historically affected by catastrophic fire events. The overall methodology entailed applying an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to [...] Read more.
Vulnerability assessment is a vital component of wildfire management. This research focuses on the evaluation of wildfire vulnerability in the Central Region of Portugal, an area historically affected by catastrophic fire events. The overall methodology entailed applying an analytical hierarchy process (AHP) to the relevant spatial variables for evaluating vulnerability associated with exposure, sensitivity, and response capacity at landscape and the wildland–urban interface (WUI) scale. Of the selected criteria, the existence of fuel in direct contact with built-up areas, population density, and firefighters’ travel time were considered the most important criteria for inclusion in the vulnerability map. At landscape scale, 31% of the Central Region presents high and very high classes of vulnerability, while 22% of WUIs are classified as highly vulnerable to fire. Although the inland areas emerge as the most vulnerable, this approach enables scattered vulnerable hotspots to be identified in almost all of the Central Region. The results could be very helpful in terms of developing and enhancing local policies to mitigate human and material damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Fire Social Science)
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14 pages, 11462 KiB  
Technical Note
FEM Analysis of 3D Timber Connections Subjected to Fire: The Effect of Using Different Densities of Wood Combined with Steel
by Elza M. M. Fonseca and Carlos Gomes
Fire 2023, 6(5), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050193 - 7 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
This work aims to present a study approach for double-shear connections of wood under fire with dowel pins and plates in steel material, using different types of glulam. The simplified Eurocode equations for ambient temperature were used to determine the dimensions and the [...] Read more.
This work aims to present a study approach for double-shear connections of wood under fire with dowel pins and plates in steel material, using different types of glulam. The simplified Eurocode equations for ambient temperature were used to determine the dimensions and the number of dowel pins that each studied connection needs in order to resist an applied tensile load. Following this methodology, the finite element method was used to assess the thermal analysis of the studied connections under fire. The study aims to increase the information on these connections, where the wood material represents a complicated behavior in fire circumstances, with the addition of the steel material. The heat conducted by the dowel pin inside the connection, and the steel plate and its effect on the wood were analyzed. According to the results, it can be assumed that the temperature evolution is due to the geometry of the connection, the dowel pin or plate position, and the glulam density. Inside the wood element, the temperature remains lower, and externally a charred depth is developed when the target temperature of 300 °C is reached, and, in the vicinity of the dowel pin or the steel plate, a burned wood depth is indirectly formed. The rate of the charred layer is not constant throughout the entire fire exposure. Steel-to-timber connections with an internal steel plate with high glulam density have greater fire resistance due to the lower temperatures obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structures in Fire: Focus on Steel and Composite Structures)
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35 pages, 1217 KiB  
Review
Deep Learning Approaches for Wildland Fires Using Satellite Remote Sensing Data: Detection, Mapping, and Prediction
by Rafik Ghali and Moulay A. Akhloufi
Fire 2023, 6(5), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050192 - 7 May 2023
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 8384
Abstract
Wildland fires are one of the most dangerous natural risks, causing significant economic damage and loss of lives worldwide. Every year, millions of hectares are lost, and experts warn that the frequency and severity of wildfires will increase in the coming years due [...] Read more.
Wildland fires are one of the most dangerous natural risks, causing significant economic damage and loss of lives worldwide. Every year, millions of hectares are lost, and experts warn that the frequency and severity of wildfires will increase in the coming years due to climate change. To mitigate these hazards, numerous deep learning models were developed to detect and map wildland fires, estimate their severity, and predict their spread. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of recent deep learning techniques for detecting, mapping, and predicting wildland fires using satellite remote sensing data. We begin by introducing remote sensing satellite systems and their use in wildfire monitoring. Next, we review the deep learning methods employed for these tasks, including fire detection and mapping, severity estimation, and spread prediction. We further present the popular datasets used in these studies. Finally, we address the challenges faced by these models to accurately predict wildfire behaviors, and suggest future directions for developing reliable and robust wildland fire models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forest Fire Behaviour Modelling Using Remote Sensing)
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4 pages, 1519 KiB  
Editorial
Smoke Movement and Control in Tunnels under Construction: Recent Research Progress and Future Directions
by Yongzheng Yao, Ziyang Xia, Rui Wang, Fei Ren, Zihe Gao, Jinlong Zhao and Qiang Wang
Fire 2023, 6(5), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050191 - 7 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1464
Abstract
China is the country with the largest number of tunnels, the largest tunnel construction scale, and the fastest development of tunnels in the world [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Turbulent Combustion Modelling, Experiment and Simulation)
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25 pages, 17614 KiB  
Article
Fire Egress System Optimization of High-Rise Teaching Building Based on Simulation and Machine Learning
by Muchen Zhou, Bailing Zhou, Zhuo Zhang, Zuoyao Zhou, Jing Liu, Boyu Li, Dong Wang and Tao Wu
Fire 2023, 6(5), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050190 - 6 May 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2142
Abstract
A fire egress system is one of the most critical aspects of fire emergency evacuation, which is the cornerstone technology of building fire safety. The high-rise teaching buildings on campus, where vast crowds of people gather, need to be qualified for rapid evacuation [...] Read more.
A fire egress system is one of the most critical aspects of fire emergency evacuation, which is the cornerstone technology of building fire safety. The high-rise teaching buildings on campus, where vast crowds of people gather, need to be qualified for rapid evacuation in the event of a fire especially. Conventional teaching building egress system design places more emphasis on individual elements (e.g., stairwells, evacuation doors, and evacuation walkways) rather than on their co-regulation as a whole. Furthermore, there are not enough holistic and effective optimal design strategies, which is because most of the existing studies rely on experiments or simulations and often suffer from a lack of sufficient data to fully reveal the interactions of individual variables. In this study, the co-effectiveness of stairwells, walkways, and room doors in reducing total evacuation time was investigated by simulation and machine learning. We selected a typical high-rise teaching building as an example and integrated two simulation software, Pyrosim and Pathfinder, to compare the available safe evacuation time (ASET) and required safe evacuation time (RSET). Then, a framework consisting of five factors—stair flight width (SFW), stairwell door width (SDW), corridor width (CW), room door width (RDW), and location of the downward stair flight (LDSF)—was established for the optimization through statistical analysis of big data obtained by the preferred machine learning algorithm. Results indicate that (1) By modifying just one factor (SFW), the total evacuation time (TET) can be reduced by at most 12.1%, with the mortality rate dropping from 26.5% to 9.5%; (2) although ASET could not be achieved either, among 4000 cases of multi-factor combinations, a maximum TET improvement degree, 29.5%, can be achieved for the evacuation optimization compared to baseline model, with a consequent reduction in mortality to 0.15%; (3) it shows that the emphasis of the egress system optimization is on the geometric features of the evacuation stairwell; furthermore, the multi-factor combination approaches have better compromised evacuation performances than the single-factor controlled schemes. The research results can be applied as rational design strategies to mitigate fire evacuation issues in high-rise teaching buildings and, in addition, the methodology suggested in this paper would be suitable to other building types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Fire Dynamics and Fire Evacuation)
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12 pages, 3496 KiB  
Article
Effect of Slope on the Frequency and Height of Fire Whirls
by Yifan Wang and Kuibin Zhou
Fire 2023, 6(5), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050189 - 5 May 2023
Viewed by 1205
Abstract
Fire whirls are reported to occur frequently in the wilderness and in urban areas due to the influence of ambient winds. Fire whirls that occur on sloped fuel surfaces are common in the wilderness and have received less attention despite their potential to [...] Read more.
Fire whirls are reported to occur frequently in the wilderness and in urban areas due to the influence of ambient winds. Fire whirls that occur on sloped fuel surfaces are common in the wilderness and have received less attention despite their potential to significantly alter fire behavior. Particularly in terms of frequency and height, previous studies have been performed on flatlands but less so on slopes. This paper presents an experimental study of fire whirls in sidewind line fires, focusing on the frequency of occurrence and the height of fire whirls. Regarding the effect of a side wind, it is shown that a side wind increases the frequency of occurrence, while the velocity component parallel or perpendicular to the line fire has a competing effect. In contrast, an increase in the slope reduces the height of the fire whirl; this phenomenon has been justified on the basis of experimental data from our work and the literature and explained in terms of the mechanism of vortex generation and movement. Full article
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18 pages, 1358 KiB  
Article
Comparative Assessment of Wildland Fire Rate of Spread Models: Effects of Wind Velocity
by Dionysios I. Kolaitis, Christos Pallikarakis and Maria A. Founti
Fire 2023, 6(5), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050188 - 4 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1371
Abstract
Wildland fire rate of spread prediction models are important tools for the effective coordination of resident evacuation and fire suppression efforts. A comparative assessment of ten empirical and semi-empirical rate of spread prediction models is performed, using a selection of 203 laboratory experiments [...] Read more.
Wildland fire rate of spread prediction models are important tools for the effective coordination of resident evacuation and fire suppression efforts. A comparative assessment of ten empirical and semi-empirical rate of spread prediction models is performed, using a selection of 203 laboratory experiments of surface spreading fires; special emphasis is given to the effects of external wind velocity. Five of the evaluated models have been developed using measurements obtained in laboratory-scale tests; these models are combined with two supplementary sub-models that account for the effects of wind. In addition, a selection of five empirical models that have been developed using large-scale field tests are also assessed. The performance of the ten prediction models is evaluated, both qualitatively and quantitatively, by employing a range of statistical error metrics. The laboratory-developed models are found to exhibit high sensitivity on low fuel load values, when no external wind is present, as well as on low packing ratios and high wind velocity values. The field-developed models exhibit significant discrepancies against the experimental data, due to the use of specific parameters regarding fuel type, scale and wind velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dynamics of Wind-Fire Interaction: Fundamentals and Applications)
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7 pages, 823 KiB  
Brief Report
The Power Grid/Wildfire Nexus: Using GIS and Satellite Remote Sensing to Identify Vulnerabilities
by Alyssa Farnes, Keith Weber, Cassie Koerner, Kathy Araújo and Christopher Forsgren
Fire 2023, 6(5), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050187 - 4 May 2023
Viewed by 1623
Abstract
The effects of wildfire on the power grid are a recurring concern for utility companies who need reliable information about where to prioritize infrastructure hardening. Though there are existing data layers that provide measures of burn probability, these models predominately consider long-term climate [...] Read more.
The effects of wildfire on the power grid are a recurring concern for utility companies who need reliable information about where to prioritize infrastructure hardening. Though there are existing data layers that provide measures of burn probability, these models predominately consider long-term climate variables, which are not helpful when analyzing current season trends. Utility companies need data that are temporally and locally relevant. To determine the primary drivers of burn probability relative to power grid vulnerability, this study assessed potential wildfire drivers that are both readily accessible and regularly updated. Two study areas in Idaho, USA with contrasting burn probabilities were compared. Wildfire drivers were obtained and differentiated between the study areas across the 2018–2021 growing seasons. This study determined that mean wind speed, cumulative growing season precipitation, and the mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for an area of interest may be reliable indicators of burn probability on a temporally relevant scale. This assessment demonstrates a method and variables that may be utilized by municipal electric utilities, electric cooperatives, and other power utilities to determine where to harden power grid infrastructure within wildfire-prone areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Data in Wildfire Management)
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25 pages, 4025 KiB  
Article
Modification of Soil Hydroscopic and Chemical Properties Caused by Four Recent California, USA Megafires
by Vera Samburova, Eric Schneider, Christopher P. Rüger, Shelby Inouye, Brad Sion, Kevin Axelrod, Palina Bahdanovich, Lukas Friederici, Yasaman Raeofy, Markus Berli, Alexandra Lutz, Ralf Zimmermann and Hans Moosmüller
Fire 2023, 6(5), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire6050186 - 3 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2372
Abstract
While it is well known that wildfires can greatly contribute to soil water repellency by changing soil chemical composition, the mechanisms of these changes are still poorly understood. In the past decade, the number, size, and intensity of wildfires have greatly increased in [...] Read more.
While it is well known that wildfires can greatly contribute to soil water repellency by changing soil chemical composition, the mechanisms of these changes are still poorly understood. In the past decade, the number, size, and intensity of wildfires have greatly increased in the western USA. Recent megafires in California (i.e., the Dixie, Beckwourth Complex, Caldor, and Mosquito fires) provided us with an opportunity to characterize pre- and post-fire soils and to study the effects of fires on soil water repellency, soil organic constituents, and connections between the two. Water drop penetration time (WDPT) tests performed in the field showed a significant increase (from <1 s up to >600 s) in WDPT from pre- to post-fire soils. This increase in soil water repellency after fires was confirmed by increases in apparent contact angle (ACA) between 1.1 and 9 times from unburned to burned soils. The chemical characterization of burned soils with high resolution mass spectrometry showed the increased abundance of hydrophobic organics (e.g., PAH-like compounds and organic molecules with a low number of oxygen atoms) as well as the correlation of the average H/C ratio and aromaticity index (AI) with ACA. Most likely, these compounds contribute to post-fire soil water repellency that triggers hydrological effects such as landslides, flooding, and debris flows. Full article
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