The role of fire geometry in the development of violent pyroconvectio (Wildfire Conference. Day 2 - Wednesday Nov. 13th, 2019).

By Pau Costa Foundation on

2019 Wildfire Conference. Adressing the Challenges of Bushfire Management

Presentations Notes 2019: DAY 1 (Day 2 - Wednesday Nov. 13th, 2019).

The role of fire geometry in the development of violent pyroconvectio.

R. L. Badlan and J. J. Sharples (Applied and Industrial Mathematics Group, School of Science, UNSW Canberra) 

J. E. Evans (Climate Science Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney)

R. H. D. McRaez (Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency, Canberra)


Violent fire-driven convection can manifest as towering pyrocumulus or pyrocumulonimbus clouds, which spread erratically and are not generally suppressible. Their occurrence is increasing and they impact both the environment and society. Research into violent pyroconvection has mainly focused on the atmospheric processes, or on surface fire weather and associated fuel conditions, with comparatively less attention paid to the role of the fire itself in these coupled fire-atmosphere events. This paper draws upon recent insights into dynamic fire propagation and extreme wildfire development to investigate how the geometry of the fire influences the occurrence of violent pyroconvective events.

The analyses indicate that geometry of the fires can be critical in driving the development of pyroconvective plumes, and uses the ratio of the fire perimeter to area, as a useful metric for both solid and annular fires. This finding may provide the potential to improve forecasting of blow up fire events.

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