Publication Details

Atmospheric turbulence in wildland fire environments: implications for fire behavior and smoke dispersion

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Year Published

2021

Publication

Fire Management Today. 79(1): 24-29.

Abstract

The atmospheric environment surrounding wildland fires is often extremely turbulent, characterized by varying wind speeds and directions (that is, wind gusts and vortices) associated with the ambient atmosphere or with fire-induced perturbations of the atmosphere. These turbulent circulations can have direct and indirect impacts on how wildland fires spread across landscapes and how fire emissions are transported and dispersed away from combustion zones (Forthofer and Goodrick 2011; Heilman and others 2019). Connections between fire behavior, smoke plume dynamics, and atmospheric turbulence have been established through numerous past observations of wildland fire events and through idealized and case study numerical model simulations of fire/atmosphere interactions (such as Clements and others 2008; Sun and others 2009; and Ward and Hardy 1991). However, gaps in our understanding of the typical characteristics of turbulence regimes surrounding wildland fires and the mechanisms by which they can influence fire behavior and smoke dispersion still exist.

Citation

Heilman, Warren E. 2021. Atmospheric turbulence in wildland fire environments: implications for fire behavior and smoke dispersion. Fire Management Today. 79(1): 24-29.

Last updated on: March 2, 2021