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Title: A landscape-scale wildland fire study using coupled weather-wildland fire model and airborne remote sensing

Author: Coen, J.L.; Riggan, Philip;

Date: 2011

Source: In Wade, D.D.; Robinson, M.L. (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuel Conference, Oct. 25-29,2010, Spokane, Washington, USA. International Association of Wildland Fire, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. 10 p

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

Description: We examine the Esperanza fire, a Santa Ana-driven wildland fire that occurred in complex terrain in spatially heterogeneous chaparral fuels, using airborne remote sensing imagery from the FireMapper thermal-imaging radiometer and a coupled weather-wildland fire model. The radiometer data maps fire intensity and is used to evaluate the error in the extent of the simulated fire perimeter and to reveal dynamically active regions of the fire fronts, their intensity, and their depth. The simulations use a numerical weather prediction model tied to a fire behavior model to simulate fire growth, its impact on the atmosphere through heat release, and the feedback of these fire-induced winds on fire behavior. The model was initialized with a regional weather simulation and fuel mapping data enhanced by additional sources to examine the meteorological flow in the vicinity of the wildfire, the fire growth and interaction with the atmospheric flow, and compare with airborne measurements collected during the first days of the fire. Model results capture the rapid spread to the east-southeast, flank runs up canyons, bifurcations of the fire, and rough agreement in area, shape, and spread direction. The west-southwesterly spread of the fire and acceleration of winds near the surface result from complex, transient, three-dimensional atmospheric wave dynamics that transport higher momentum east-northeasterly winds down to the surface in combination with other topographic dynamic effects.

Keywords: fire behavior, fire mapping, coupled atmosphere-fire model

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Coen, J.L.; Riggan, P.J. 2011. A landscape-scale wildland fire study using coupled weather-wildland fire model and airborne remote sensing. In Wade, D.D.; Robinson, M.L. (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd Fire Behavior and Fuel Conference, Oct. 25-29,2010, Spokane, Washington, USA. International Association of Wildland Fire, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. 10 p.

 


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