Fire Sciences

FIRETEC and WFDS Modeling of Fire Behavior and Smoke in Support of FASMEE

Rodman Linn, LANL Research Scientist and NMC Affiliate
Eunmo Koo, LANL Research Scientist
This project focuses on improving the fire behavior models, FIRETEC and WFDS, to support the Fire and Smoke Model Evaluation Experiment (FASMEE), a multi-agency effort focused on improving fire-behavior and wildfire plume-dynamics models.
Understanding and predicting wildfire behavior is a particularly difficult scientific problem, since the length scales of the physics range from those of flame sheets to fire and topography influenced atmospheric dynamics. Wildfires are driven by very complex processes ranging from combustion of complex natural fuels to local meteorology and their behavior depends heavily on the coupling between a variety of chemical and physical processes. The goal of this project is to improve upon the physics-based fire behavior models, FIRETEC and WFDS.
Both FIRETEC and WFDS models use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods to simulate the component physical processes that drive fire behavior. The validation of physics-based models, is supported by measurements of both the component physical processes and the resulting fire behavior. Large-scale field experiments, such as those proposed by FASMEE, are best suited for measurements of fire behavior. Validation of models for the component processes requires data sets from experiments in which many of the environmental conditions are very well characterized, thereby allowing a focus on one or a few physical processes of interest. This is best done in the controlled and repeatable conditions of laboratory or (potentially) small-scale field burns.

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