Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern
Help
 

GeoTreesearch


Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

(412 KB)

Title: On the need for a theory of wildland fire spread

Author: Finney, Mark A.; Cohen, Jack D.; McAllister, Sara S.; Jolly, W. Matt

Date: 2012

Source: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22: 25-36.

Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)

Description: We explore the basis of understanding wildland fire behaviour with the intention of stimulating curiosity and promoting fundamental investigations of fire spread problems that persist even in the presence of tremendous modelling advances. Internationally, many fire models have been developed based on a variety of assumptions and expressions for the fundamental heat transfer and combustion processes. The diversity of these assumptions raises the question as to whether the absence of a sound and coherent fire spread theory is partly responsible. We explore the thesis that, without a common understanding of what processes occur and how they occur, model reliability cannot be confirmed. A theory is defined as a collection of logically connected hypotheses that provide a coherent explanation of some aspect of reality. Models implement theory for a particular purpose, including hypotheses of phenomena and practical uses, such as prediction. We emphasise the need for theory and demonstrate the difference between theory and modelling. Increasingly sophisticated fire management requires modelling capabilities well beyond the fundamental basis of current models. These capabilities can only be met with fundamental fire behaviour research. Furthermore, possibilities as well as limitations for modelling may not be known or knowable without first having the theory.

Keywords: fire behaviour, fuel ignition, heat transfer, live fuels

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Finney, Mark A.; Cohen, Jack D.; McAllister, Sara S.; Jolly, W. Matt. 2012. On the need for a theory of wildland fire spread. International Journal of Wildland Fire. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22: 25-36.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.