Wildland fires behaviour: wind effect versus Byram’s convective number and consequences upon the regime of propagation

Abstract : With fuel moisture content and slope, wind velocity (U W) is one of the major physical parameters that most affects the behaviour of wildland fires. The aim of this short paper was to revisit the relationship between the rate of spread (ROS) and the wind velocity, through the role played by the two forces governing the trajectory of the flame front and the plume, i.e. the buoyancy of the plume and the inertia due to wind. A large set of experimental data (at field and laboratory scale) from the literature was analysed, by introducing the ratio between these two forces, namely Byram's convective number N C and considering the relationship between the fire ROS/wind speed ratio and Byram's number. This short note was also an opportunity to make a point on particular issues, such as the existence of two regimes of propagation of surface fires (wind-driven fire vs plume-dominated fire), the relative importance of the two modes of heat transfer (by convection and radiation) on the propagation of a fire front, and others scientific debates animating the wildland fire community.
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Dominique Morvan, Nicolas Frangieh. Wildland fires behaviour: wind effect versus Byram’s convective number and consequences upon the regime of propagation. International Journal of Wildland Fire, CSIRO Publishing, 2018, 27 (9), pp.636. ⟨10.1071/Wf18014⟩. ⟨hal-02114689⟩

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