5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Monday, 17 November 2003: 2:00 PM
Impact of released fuel moisture on atmospheric dynamics
Brian E. Potter, USDA Forest Service, East Lansing, MI
Poster PDF (74.2 kB)
The combustion of woody materials releases significant amounts of moisture into the atmosphere. The energy required to evaporate this moisture is accounted for in the computation of fire energy release, as a loss from overall combustion energy. The moisture and energy are not lost, however, they are carried in the air of the fire’s plume. They have the power to determine the behavior of that plume and the winds around it, thus influencing the fire’s behavior. The author will examine the potential influence of the moisture released by combustion on fire dynamics. One or more documented blow up fires will be examined to demonstrate the role released moisture played in the behavior of the fire. Theoretical and simple numerical models will be used to understand the processes involved and the roles they play in the dynamics of the fire’s plume.

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