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Modelling the Burning of an Ornamental Vegetation with WFDS: From Laboratory to Field Scale †

Anthony Graziani
Karina Meerpoel-Pietri
Virginie Tihay-Felicelli
Paul-Antoine Santoni
Frédéric Morandini
Yolanda Perez-Ramirez
1 and
William Mell
Laboratoire Sciences Pour l’Environnement, (UMR 6134 SPE), University of Corsica, 20250 Corte, France
U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Wildland Fire Sciences Lab, 400 N. 34th St., Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk, Sardinia, Italy, 3–6 May 2022.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17(1), 118;
Published: 1 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Conference on Fire Behavior and Risk)
Among the vectors of fire propagation towards buildings in the WUI, ornamental hedges have been identified as one of the main elements [1]. In terms of regulations, there is no global consensus on the distances between ornamental plants and buildings. Consequently, it is necessary to scientifically study how the burning of ornamental plants and more particularly hedges impacts constructions according to their distance from the structure elements considered. Numerical simulations may be an appropriate approach for this type of study. However, it is necessary to ensure beforehand that the numerical model correctly reproduces the phenomena involved. Studies on the capacity of WFDS to reproduce the combustion of plants at the laboratory scale have already been carried out [2,3,4].
To go further in the test of WFDS, this work presents the results concerning the numerical prediction of the combustion of a hedge at the laboratory and field scales. The experimental data used for this study were obtained from dedicated experiments of burning reconstructed hedges of rockrose composed of dried branches. At both scales, the numerical model had a computational domain filled with Cartesian cells whose size depended on the scale studied. Vegetation is modelled using a Fuel Element approach [3] to consider the fire spread throughout the raised volume of the hedge. The three stages of the thermal degradation of the fuel (dehydration, pyrolysis, char oxidation) are described using Arrhenius laws [4].
The results show a good agreement between experiments and simulations for both scales. The phases of the fire growth and fully developed fire are well represented for both the heat release rate (at the laboratory scale) or for the heat flux levels (at the field scale). Fire extinction occurs faster in WFDS, especially because WFDS cannot model the collapse of particles during combustion.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, V.T.-F., P.-A.S. and W.M.; methodology, V.T.-F., P.-A.S. and W.M.; software, W.M.; validation, A.G., K.M.-P., V.T.-F., P.-A.S., F.M., Y.P.-R. and W.M.; formal analysis, W.M.; investigation, A.G.; resources, F.M., Y.P.-R.; data curation, A.G. and F.M.; writing—original draft preparation, A.G.; writing—review and editing, A.G., K.M.-P., V.T.-F., P.-A.S., F.M., Y.P.-R. and W.M.; visualization, A.G. and F.M.; supervision, V.T.-F., P.-A.S. and W.M.; project administration, V.T.-F., P.-A.S. and W.M. funding acquisition, V.T.-F., P.-A.S. and W.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


The experimental part of this research was supported by the projects “MED-STAR” (Strategie e misure per la mitigazione del rischio di incendio nell’area Mediterranea) and “INTERMED” (Interventions pour gérer et réduire le risque d’incendie à l’interface habitat-espace naturel) financed by the fund PC IFM 2014-2020 ( The field scale simulation of this research was supported by the project “Structure Heat Exposure—Simulations and Experiments”, contract number 21-IJ-11261987-002, funded by the USDA (US Forest Service).

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Maranghides, A.; Mell, W. A Case Study of a Community Affected by the Witch and Guejito Fires. Fire Technol. 2011, 47, 379–420. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Perez-Ramirez, Y.; Mell, W.; Santoni, P.A.; Tramoni, J.B.; Bosseur, F. Examination of WFDS in Modeling Spreading Fires in a Furniture Calorimeter. Fire Technol. 2017, 53, 1795–1832. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  3. Mell, W.; Maranghides, A.; McDermott, R.; Manzello, S.L. Numerical simulation and experiments of burning douglas fir trees. Combust. Flame 2009, 156, 2023–2041. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  4. Morandini, F.; Santoni, P.A.; Tramoni, J.B.; Mell, W.E. Experimental investigation of flammability and numerical study of combustion of shrub of rockrose under severe drought conditions. Fire Saf. J. 2019, 108, 102836. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
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MDPI and ACS Style

Graziani, A.; Meerpoel-Pietri, K.; Tihay-Felicelli, V.; Santoni, P.-A.; Morandini, F.; Perez-Ramirez, Y.; Mell, W. Modelling the Burning of an Ornamental Vegetation with WFDS: From Laboratory to Field Scale. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2022, 17, 118.

AMA Style

Graziani A, Meerpoel-Pietri K, Tihay-Felicelli V, Santoni P-A, Morandini F, Perez-Ramirez Y, Mell W. Modelling the Burning of an Ornamental Vegetation with WFDS: From Laboratory to Field Scale. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2022; 17(1):118.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Graziani, Anthony, Karina Meerpoel-Pietri, Virginie Tihay-Felicelli, Paul-Antoine Santoni, Frédéric Morandini, Yolanda Perez-Ramirez, and William Mell. 2022. "Modelling the Burning of an Ornamental Vegetation with WFDS: From Laboratory to Field Scale" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 17, no. 1: 118.

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