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Fire, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2024) – 41 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The reactive scalar gradient magnitude is of pivotal importance in the fundamental understanding and modeling of turbulent reacting flows because of its relevance to surface area density and scalar dissipation rate (and thus impacts micro-mixing). The statistical behaviors of the different timescales associated with the flame normal strain rate and flame normal gradients of chemical reaction rate and molecular diffusion rate, which appear in the transport equation of the fractional change in the reactive scalar gradient magnitude, have been analyzed in this study. The analysis has been conducted using 3D direct numerical simulation data of statistically planar turbulent premixed flames ranging from the corrugated flamelets regime to the thin reaction zones regime to elucidate the effects of the combustion regime on the aforementioned timescales. View this paper
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23 pages, 28825 KiB  
Article
Performance Evaluation of Cable Shaft Fireproof Sealing System in High-Rise Buildings: A Comparative Test Method
by Bizhen Zhang, Shengwen Shu, Zhicong Zheng, Bo Qu, Xin Li, Xingyao Xiang and Shuai Xia
Fire 2024, 7(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030102 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 560
Abstract
The effectiveness of fireproof sealing systems in preventing the spread of fire in high-rise building cable shafts relies on the properties of various sealing materials and the construction process. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation is necessary. The authors of this paper propose a comparative [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of fireproof sealing systems in preventing the spread of fire in high-rise building cable shafts relies on the properties of various sealing materials and the construction process. Therefore, a comprehensive evaluation is necessary. The authors of this paper propose a comparative test method based on an entity test platform for a performance evaluation of cable shaft fireproof sealing systems in high-rise buildings. The test platform measures changes in temperature, humidity, and smoke mass during fire tests to compare the performance of four sets of fireproof sealing systems in terms of thermal insulation, smoke sealing capacity, and overall integrity. In addition, a fire dynamics simulation (FDS) of fireproof sealing systems was carried out on the entity test platform, and the sealing failure process in the case of cracking in the fireproof sealing system was revealed. The simulation results for the temperature trends in the lower space align with the fire test results. Furthermore, as the gap size increases, the diffusion of smoke and flame accelerates. Consequently, the performance of cable shaft fireproof sealing systems depends not only on the sealing material but also on the construction process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Fire Prevention and Control for Power Grids)
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16 pages, 5111 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Analysis of a Nuclear-Grade Cable Based on Fire Combustion Characteristics and Pyrolysis Behavior
by Qiang Shi, Jiaxu Zuo, Wei Song and Fang Jing
Fire 2024, 7(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030101 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 561
Abstract
Nuclear power fire protection is an important part of nuclear safety, and strengthening fire protection technology research is essential for improving nuclear safety and fire protection. The operating platform inside a containment structure is one important element in fire risk evaluation in nuclear [...] Read more.
Nuclear power fire protection is an important part of nuclear safety, and strengthening fire protection technology research is essential for improving nuclear safety and fire protection. The operating platform inside a containment structure is one important element in fire risk evaluation in nuclear power plants. In this paper, a combustible nuclear-grade cable in a fire scenario was firstly selected as the research object, and then the nuclear-grade cable was separately subjected to a combustion test as well as a thermogravimetric test in order to obtain the relevant thermal parameters, which provide more accurate data support for the establishment of a cable fire development and spread model. The nuclear-grade cable material data obtained from the test were compared with a civil PVC cable in order to conduct a specific analysis of the fire risk of nuclear-grade cables. This study shows that the effects of different heating rates and heating atmospheres on the thermal decomposition behavior of cable materials are meaningful and helpful in understanding whether the materials will undergo combustion processes at high temperatures and whether fire spread will occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Fire and Urban Fire Research)
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14 pages, 4027 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Time Step Sizes on Pedestrian Evacuation Time under Emergencies Such as Fires Using an Extended Cellular Automata Model
by Hongpeng Qiu, Xuanwen Liang, Qian Chen and Eric Wai Ming Lee
Fire 2024, 7(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030100 - 21 Mar 2024
Viewed by 573
Abstract
The cellular automata (CA) model has been a meaningful way to study pedestrian evacuation during emergencies, such as fires, for many years. Although the time step used in the CA model is one of the most essential elements, there is a lack of [...] Read more.
The cellular automata (CA) model has been a meaningful way to study pedestrian evacuation during emergencies, such as fires, for many years. Although the time step used in the CA model is one of the most essential elements, there is a lack of research on its impact on evacuation time. In this paper, we set different time step sizes in an extended cellular automaton model and discuss the effect of time step size on the overall evacuation time under different emergency types and levels. For a fixed step time mode, the larger the time step, the longer the evacuation time. In each time step size, the evacuation time gradually increases with the increase of emergency level, and there is a sharp increase when the time for pedestrians to move one step is exactly an integer multiple of the time step. When there is no friction between pedestrians, the evacuation time at each time step first decreases slightly with the increase of emergency level and then remains unchanged; the larger the time step, when the evacuation time remains unchanged, the lower the emergency level and the greater the evacuation time. For the variable time step model, when the friction between pedestrians approaches infinity, the total evacuation time does not change with the emergency level; when the friction between pedestrians is reduced, the total evacuation time slightly decreases with the increase of the emergency level. The less friction there is, the more significant the reduction. The results of previous actual experiments are also reflected in the simulation at a lower emergency level. The result shows that the time step size significantly impacts the evacuation simulation results of the CA model, and researchers should choose carefully to obtain more realistic simulation results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ensuring Safety against Fires in Overcrowded Urban Areas)
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13 pages, 276 KiB  
Review
Elucidating the Mechanisms of Reactions in Energetic Materials: A Critical Methodology Review
by Kinga Łysień, Tomasz Jarosz, Karolina Głosz and Agnieszka Stolarczyk
Fire 2024, 7(3), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030099 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Identification of the mechanism of changes taking place in energetic materials (EMs) is one of the most important issues in the rational design and use of EMs. Due to the extremely rapid nature of these changes, reliable monitoring and real-time analysis are extremely [...] Read more.
Identification of the mechanism of changes taking place in energetic materials (EMs) is one of the most important issues in the rational design and use of EMs. Due to the extremely rapid nature of these changes, reliable monitoring and real-time analysis are extremely difficult. Hence, analysis of the mechanism of such processes often has to rely on adaptation of classical methods or on comparison of the initial and final states of the EM. In this critical review, we focus on current approaches to the methodology of investigating the mechanisms of processes taking place in EMs, showcasing viable experimental strategies, points of uncertainty, and adaptations of classical instrumental methods. Full article
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20 pages, 11385 KiB  
Article
Mitigating Coal Spontaneous Combustion Risk within Goaf of Gob-Side Entry Retaining by Roof Cutting: Investigation of Air Leakage Characteristics and Effective Plugging Techniques
by Zhipeng Zhang, Xiaokun Chen, Zhijin Yu, Hao Sun, Dewei Huang, Jiangle Wu and Hao Zhang
Fire 2024, 7(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030098 - 20 Mar 2024
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Relative to conventional coal pillar retention mining technology (the 121 mining method), gob-side entry retaining by cutting roof (the 110 mining method), a non-pillar mining technique, efficiently addresses issues like poor coal resource recovery and significant rock burst damage. Nonetheless, the open-type goaf [...] Read more.
Relative to conventional coal pillar retention mining technology (the 121 mining method), gob-side entry retaining by cutting roof (the 110 mining method), a non-pillar mining technique, efficiently addresses issues like poor coal resource recovery and significant rock burst damage. Nonetheless, the open-type goaf created by 110 mining techniques suffers from complex and significant air leaks, increasing the likelihood of coal spontaneous combustion (CSC) within the gob area. To address the CSC problem caused by complex air leakage within the goaf of gob-side entry retaining by roof cutting, this study takes the 17202 working face of Dongrong Second Coal Mine as the object of study. Field tests and simulation calculations are conducted to research the features of air leakage and the distribution of the oxidation zone within the goaf. Subsequently, plugging technology with varying plugging lengths is proposed and implemented. The tests and simulations reveal that the airflow migration within the goaf follows an L-shaped pattern, while air leakage primarily originates from gaps found in the gob-side entry retaining wall. The amount of air leaking into the gob-side entry retaining section is 171.59 m3/min, which represents 7.3% of the overall airflow. The maximum oxidation zone within the goaf ranges from 58.7 m to 151.8 m. After the air leakage is blocked, the airflow migration route within the goaf is transformed into a U-shaped distribution, and the maximum oxidation zone range changes from 42.8 m to 80.7 m. Engineering practice demonstrates that after air leakage plugging, the total air leakage volume within the gob-side entry retaining section significantly reduces to 20.59 m3/min, representing only 0.78% of the total airflow volume. This research provides reference on how to prevent the occurrence of CSC in similar mine goafs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Simulation, Experiment and Modeling of Coal Fires)
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15 pages, 10342 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Characterization of Microencapsulated Ammonium Polyphosphate with Polyurethane Shell and Its Flame Retardance in Polypropylene
by Thuy Tien Nguyen Thanh, Ziya Yusifov, Bence Tóth, Katalin Bocz, Péter Márton, Zoltán Hórvölgyi, György Marosi and Beáta Szolnoki
Fire 2024, 7(3), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030097 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Polypropylene (PP) shows no charring ability in burning due to the lack of hydroxyl functional groups; thus, the flame retardant system needs an additional amount of carbonizing agent. An ammonium polyphosphate (APP)-based all-in-one intumescent flame-retardant system was prepared by the in situ polymerization [...] Read more.
Polypropylene (PP) shows no charring ability in burning due to the lack of hydroxyl functional groups; thus, the flame retardant system needs an additional amount of carbonizing agent. An ammonium polyphosphate (APP)-based all-in-one intumescent flame-retardant system was prepared by the in situ polymerization of polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (pMDI) with a glycerol-based and a glycerol–sorbitol-based polyol of high OH value. The microencapsulated APP with a polyurethane shell (MCAPP) of different polyols was characterized. The MCAPP with speculated improved flame retardant performance was selected for further evaluation in the PP matrix at different loadings by means of standard flammability tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Flame Retardant Materials)
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19 pages, 4583 KiB  
Article
Influence of Fires on Desert Plant Communities at the Chernye Zemli (SW Russia)
by Galya V. Klink, Sergey A. Lednev, Ivan N. Semenkov, Maria V. Konyushkova, Andrey M. Karpachevskiy, Mergen M. Chemidov, Svetlana S. Ulanova, Natal’ya L. Fedorova, Anna V. Sharapova, Sergey A. Bogun and Tatyana V. Koroleva
Fire 2024, 7(3), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030096 - 17 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 692
Abstract
Understanding the rate and direction of pyrogenic succession in arid ecosystems, which depends on many factors, including the intensity of grazing and the frequency of pyrogenic expo-sure, will allow for more accurate predictions of the consequences of fire onplant communities, and will assist [...] Read more.
Understanding the rate and direction of pyrogenic succession in arid ecosystems, which depends on many factors, including the intensity of grazing and the frequency of pyrogenic expo-sure, will allow for more accurate predictions of the consequences of fire onplant communities, and will assist with better fire management. We studied the vegetation on 55 sites in and near the “Chernye Zemli” Natural Biosphere Reserve that burned at different times or were not affected by fires over the past 35 years and characterized the changes in vegetation cover associated with the impact of wildfire and grazing. The descriptions were grouped into chronological stages according to the time elapsed since the last fire, or into groups according to the frequency of fires. In pairwise comparison of the projective cover of plant species between chronological stages, it correlated most strongly between successive initial stages (for stages 1 and 2, p = 0.003, r = 0.73; for stages 2 and 3, p < 0.001, r = 0.78). Species with an initially higher projective cover were more likely to grow on plots in the first year after the fire: p < 0.03. Plots with rare and frequent fires had similar projective cover of individual species (r = 0.64, p < 0.001). We conclude that in the course of pyrogenic succession, communities are gradually replaced over at least ten years. At the same time, the composition of a plant community at the initial point of succession depends on the prevalence of species in the community before the fire. No fundamental effect of the frequency of fires on the composition of plant communities has been revealed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Wildfire on the Biota)
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15 pages, 3236 KiB  
Article
Research on the Inhibitory Effect of Hydrated Phase Change Materials on Spontaneous Combustion in Coal
by Fanghua Wu, Shiliang Shi, Shuzhen Shao, Yi Lu, Wangxin Gu, Youliang Wang and Xindi Yuan
Fire 2024, 7(3), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030095 - 17 Mar 2024
Viewed by 595
Abstract
In order to study the effect of hydrated phase change materials on the suppression of spontaneous combustion in coal, a thermogravimetric experiment and a reaction activation energy analysis experiment were conducted to explore the changes in the combustion characteristic parameters, characteristic temperature, and [...] Read more.
In order to study the effect of hydrated phase change materials on the suppression of spontaneous combustion in coal, a thermogravimetric experiment and a reaction activation energy analysis experiment were conducted to explore the changes in the combustion characteristic parameters, characteristic temperature, and activating energy of gas coal, long-flame coal, meagre coal, and lean coal before and after adding hydrated phase change materials. The research results indicated that hydrated phase change materials increased the characteristic temperature point of the coal samples and had effective inhibitory effects on different stages of the oxidation process. However, the effect was best at low temperatures, as hydrated phase change materials undergo phase change and absorb heat when heated at low temperatures, isolating coal from contact with oxygen. The activating energy increased by 1.138–23.048 KJ·mol−1 and the mass loss was reduced by 1.6%–9.3% after inhibition of the coal samples, indicating that the oxidation rate of the various coal samples was slowed down and, thus, spontaneous combustion can be suppressed through the use of hydrated phase change materials. At the same time, this material reduced the combustibility indices of meagre coal and lean coal, as well as the comprehensive combustion indices of long-flame coal and gas coal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Control of Mine Fire)
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28 pages, 2482 KiB  
Case Report
Decolonising Fire Science by Reexamining Fire Management across Contested Landscapes: A Workshop Approach
by Abigail Rose Croker, Adriana E. S. Ford, Yiannis Kountouris, Jayalaxshmi Mistry, Amos Chege Muthiuru, Cathy Smith, Elijah Praise, David Chiawo and Veronica Muniu
Fire 2024, 7(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030094 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1431
Abstract
In many landscapes worldwide, fire regimes and human–fire interactions were reorganised by colonialism and continue to be shaped by neo-colonial processes. The introduction of fire suppression policies and state-centric property-rights systems across conservation areas and the intentional erasure of Indigenous governance systems and [...] Read more.
In many landscapes worldwide, fire regimes and human–fire interactions were reorganised by colonialism and continue to be shaped by neo-colonial processes. The introduction of fire suppression policies and state-centric property-rights systems across conservation areas and the intentional erasure of Indigenous governance systems and knowledge have served to decouple Indigenous fire-dependent communities from culturally mediated fire regimes and fire-adapted landscapes. This has driven a decline in anthropogenic fires while simultaneously increasing wildfire risk where Indigenous people have been excluded, resulting in widespread social–ecological vulnerabilities. Much contemporary fire research also bears colonial legacies in its epistemological traditions, in the global geographical distribution of research institutions, and the accessibility of research outputs. We report on a two-day workshop titled ‘Fire Management Across Contested Landscapes’ convened concurrently in Nairobi, Kenya, and London, UK. The workshop formed part of a series of workshops on ‘Decolonising Fire Science’ held by the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, UK. The workshop in Nairobi invited diverse Kenyan stakeholders to engage in participatory activities that facilitate knowledge sharing, aiming to establish an inclusive working fire network. Activities included rich pictures, world café discussions, participatory art, and the co-development of a declaration to guide fire management in Kenya. Meanwhile, in London, Leverhulme Wildfires researchers explored participatory research methodologies including rich pictures and participatory video, and developed a declaration to guide more equitable research. There were opportunities throughout the workshop for participants in Nairobi and London to engage in dialogue with one another, sharing their experiences and understandings of complex fire challenges in Kenya and globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reimagining the Future of Living and Working with Fire)
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19 pages, 6775 KiB  
Article
FFYOLO: A Lightweight Forest Fire Detection Model Based on YOLOv8
by Bensheng Yun, Yanan Zheng, Zhenyu Lin and Tao Li
Fire 2024, 7(3), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030093 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Forest is an important resource for human survival, and forest fires are a serious threat to forest protection. Therefore, the early detection of fire and smoke is particularly important. Based on the manually set feature extraction method, the detection accuracy of the machine [...] Read more.
Forest is an important resource for human survival, and forest fires are a serious threat to forest protection. Therefore, the early detection of fire and smoke is particularly important. Based on the manually set feature extraction method, the detection accuracy of the machine learning forest fire detection method is limited, and it is unable to deal with complex scenes. Meanwhile, most deep learning methods are difficult to deploy due to high computational costs. To address these issues, this paper proposes a lightweight forest fire detection model based on YOLOv8 (FFYOLO). Firstly, in order to better extract the features of fire and smoke, a channel prior dilatation attention module (CPDA) is proposed. Secondly, the mixed-classification detection head (MCDH), a new detection head, is designed. Furthermore, MPDIoU is introduced to enhance the regression and classification accuracy of the model. Then, in the Neck section, a lightweight GSConv module is applied to reduce parameters while maintaining model accuracy. Finally, the knowledge distillation strategy is used during training stage to enhance the generalization ability of the model and reduce the false detection. Experimental outcomes demonstrate that, in comparison to the original model, FFYOLO realizes an mAP0.5 of 88.8% on a custom forest fire dataset, which is 3.4% better than the original model, with 25.3% lower parameters and 9.3% higher frames per second (FPS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Forest Fire Prediction and Detection)
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14 pages, 6658 KiB  
Communication
Triggering Pyro-Convection in a High-Resolution Coupled Fire–Atmosphere Simulation
by Flavio Tiago Couto, Jean-Baptiste Filippi, Roberta Baggio, Cátia Campos and Rui Salgado
Fire 2024, 7(3), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030092 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 675
Abstract
This study aimed to assess fire–atmosphere interactions using the fully coupled Meso-NH–ForeFire system. We focused on the Pedrógão Grande wildfire (28,914 ha), which occurred in June 2017 and was one of the deadliest and most damaging fires in Portugal’s history. Two simulations (control [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess fire–atmosphere interactions using the fully coupled Meso-NH–ForeFire system. We focused on the Pedrógão Grande wildfire (28,914 ha), which occurred in June 2017 and was one of the deadliest and most damaging fires in Portugal’s history. Two simulations (control and fully coupled fire–atmosphere) were performed for three two-way nested domains configured with horizontal resolutions of 2 km, 0.4 km, and 0.08 km, respectively, in the atmospheric model Meso-NH. Fire propagation was modeled within the innermost domain with ForeFire, which solves the fire front with a 20 m resolution, producing the heat and vapor fluxes which are then injected into the atmospheric model. A simplified homogeneous fuel distribution was used in this case study. The fully coupled experiment helped us to characterize the smoke plume structure and identify two different regimes: (1) a wind-driven regime, with the smoke plume transported horizontally southward and in the lower troposphere, and (2) a plume-dominated regime, in which the simulated smoke plume extended vertically up to upper levels, favoring the formation of a pyro-cloud. The simulations were compared, and the results suggest that the change in the fire regime was caused by an outflow that affected the main fire front. Furthermore, the fully coupled simulation allowed us to explore the change in meteorology caused by an extreme fire, namely through the development of a pyro-cloud that also induced outflows that reached the surface. We show that the Meso-NH–ForeFire system may strongly contribute to an improved understanding of extreme wildfires events and associated weather phenomena. Full article
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16 pages, 5596 KiB  
Article
Research on the Optimal Spacing of Multiple Roof Smoke Blocking Structures in a Long Corridor
by Zeqi Wu, Kun Wang, Lin Shao, Huaitao Song and Kunpeng Liu
Fire 2024, 7(3), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030091 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 674
Abstract
In a long and narrow corridor, the installation of roof smoke blocking structures is a measure to slow down the spread of fire smoke. When employing multiple smoke blocking structures, the spacing between these structures is a critical parameter that needs to be [...] Read more.
In a long and narrow corridor, the installation of roof smoke blocking structures is a measure to slow down the spread of fire smoke. When employing multiple smoke blocking structures, the spacing between these structures is a critical parameter that needs to be considered for optimal effectiveness. This paper analyzes the smoke blocking performance of double structures at different spacing and measures the smoke flow velocity both upstream and downstream of the double structures. According to the analysis of the smoke velocity vector obtained from numerical simulation, the smoke can be divided into three zones based on the flow state of the smoke after passing through the front smoke screen structure, namely the vortex zone, surge wave zone, and steady flow zone. When the rear smoke screen is located in the surge zone, the smoke blocking effect is optimal. Analysis of the morphology of the smoke layer indicates that the length of the vortex region is directly proportional to the upstream smoke flow velocity. The numerical and experimental results both indicate that an excessively large or small spacing between the structures fails to achieve optimal smoke control effectiveness. When the spacing is within an optimal range, the smoke velocity is the lowest. Finally, using a real architectural corridor as a case background, this paper presents a design example of roof smoke blocking structures. In order to arrange as many smoke blocking structures as possible, an appropriate spacing between the structures should be slightly larger than the vortex region. The smoke control effectiveness of multiple roof structures was validated through numerical simulation. As a result, the time required for smoke to pass through the corridor increases by 110 s. Full article
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15 pages, 7340 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Accuracy of the Wildland–Urban Interface Index in Portuguese Rural Villages’ Context: A Case Study of the 2017 Pedrógão Grande Wildfire
by Dener Silva, Tiago Miguel Ferreira and Hugo Rodrigues
Fire 2024, 7(3), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030090 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 745
Abstract
Climate change and human interventions can boost wildfires. Although naturally happening, massive events are becoming more frequent and severe. In Portugal’s mainland, many rural settlements are populated mainly by older people, and uninhabited houses are frequently poorly conserved. This combination leaves the Wildland–Urban [...] Read more.
Climate change and human interventions can boost wildfires. Although naturally happening, massive events are becoming more frequent and severe. In Portugal’s mainland, many rural settlements are populated mainly by older people, and uninhabited houses are frequently poorly conserved. This combination leaves the Wildland–Urban Interface (WUI) dangerously exposed to the fires. Pursuing the understanding of WUI areas, this study applies the Wildland–Urban Interface Index (WUIX) assessment methodology to an area severely affected by the massive 2017 wildfire of Pedrógão Grande, Leiria, Portugal. The primary objective of this study was to compare the results from WUIX with the areas burned during the fire event. As a result, maps of WUI effect were generated, visually pointing to villages with higher severity compared to the others. A statistical analysis was performed in three villages from the region to validate the results by comparing the accuracy of the results obtained to the actual damages. The results point out a high correlation between the WUIX and the real scenario despite the apparent challenges in determining the variations in different types of fire effect. Finally, the WUIX results align with the data from the Pedrógão Grande wildfire, showing that some are promising in conjunction with other wildfire indicators. Full article
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21 pages, 4842 KiB  
Article
Intelligent Methods for Forest Fire Detection Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
by Nikolay Abramov, Yulia Emelyanova, Vitaly Fralenko, Vyacheslav Khachumov, Mikhail Khachumov, Maria Shustova and Alexander Talalaev
Fire 2024, 7(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030089 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 932
Abstract
This research addresses the problem of early detection of smoke and open fire on the observed territory by unmanned aerial vehicles. We solve the tasks of improving the quality of incoming video data by removing motion blur and stabilizing the video stream; detecting [...] Read more.
This research addresses the problem of early detection of smoke and open fire on the observed territory by unmanned aerial vehicles. We solve the tasks of improving the quality of incoming video data by removing motion blur and stabilizing the video stream; detecting the horizon line in the frame; and identifying fires using semantic segmentation with Euclidean–Mahalanobis distance and the modified convolutional neural network YOLO. The proposed horizon line detection algorithm allows for cutting off unnecessary information such as cloud-covered areas in the frame by calculating local contrast, which is equivalent to the pixel informativeness indicator of the image. Proposed preprocessing methods give a delay of no more than 0.03 s due to the use of a pipeline method for data processing. Experimental results show that the horizon clipping algorithm improves fire and smoke detection accuracy by approximately 11%. The best results with the neural network were achieved with YOLO 5m, which yielded an F1 score of 76.75% combined with a processing speed of 45 frames per second. The obtained results differ from existing analogs by utilizing a comprehensive approach to early fire detection, which includes image enhancement and alternative real-time video processing methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Forest Fire Prediction and Detection)
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13 pages, 2639 KiB  
Article
Molecular Characterisation of Post-Fire Naturally Regenerated Populations of Maritime Pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) in the North of Portugal
by Ana Carvalho, Stéphanie Ribeiro, Maria João Gaspar, Teresa Fonseca and José Lima-Brito
Fire 2024, 7(3), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030088 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 560
Abstract
Wildfires act as a selection force threatening the sustainability and diversity of forest genetic resources. Few studies have investigated the genetic effects of forest wildfires. Species with perennial canopy seed banks in serotinous cones and soil or with long-distance seed and pollen dispersion [...] Read more.
Wildfires act as a selection force threatening the sustainability and diversity of forest genetic resources. Few studies have investigated the genetic effects of forest wildfires. Species with perennial canopy seed banks in serotinous cones and soil or with long-distance seed and pollen dispersion can preserve genetic diversity and population differentiation under normal fire regimes. To test this hypothesis, we characterised molecularly Pinus pinaster Aiton (maritime pine) seedlings produced from seeds sampled in post-fire, naturally regenerated populations that had been subject to different fire regimes in the North of Portugal using inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSRs). The sampled populations burned once (A), twice (B), or three (D) times or had no prior fire history (C, control). Given the globally low seed germination ability, only 104 plantlets regenerated and were described. These plantlets were grouped according to their origin population. Intra-group ISSR polymorphism ranged from 72.73% (B) to 89.41% (D), revealing genetic differentiation among groups originating from populations that had experienced different fire recurrence. Overall, the unaffected genetic diversity of the regenerated plantlets allowed us to accept the hypothesis. Our findings enhance our understanding of the species ability to withstand fire-induced challenges and their responses to wildfires, guiding conservation endeavours and forest management strategies to bolster ecosystem resilience. Full article
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16 pages, 1284 KiB  
Article
Co-Gasification of Pistachio Shells with Wood Pellets in a Semi-Industrial Hybrid Cross/Updraft Reactor for Producer Gas and Biochar Production
by Jiří Ryšavý, Jakub Čespiva, Lenka Kuboňová, Milan Dej, Katarzyna Szramowiat-Sala, Oleksandr Molchanov, Lukasz Niedzwiecki, Wei-Mon Yan and Sangeetha Thangavel
Fire 2024, 7(3), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030087 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 750
Abstract
The possibilities of pistachio shell biochar production on laboratory-scale gasification and pyrolysis devices have been described by several previous studies. Nevertheless, the broader results of the pistachio shell co-gasification process on pilot-scale units have not yet been properly investigated or reported, especially regarding [...] Read more.
The possibilities of pistachio shell biochar production on laboratory-scale gasification and pyrolysis devices have been described by several previous studies. Nevertheless, the broader results of the pistachio shell co-gasification process on pilot-scale units have not yet been properly investigated or reported, especially regarding the detailed description of the biochar acquired during the routine operation. The biochar was analysed using several analytical techniques, such as ultimate and proximate analysis (62%wt of C), acid–base properties analysis (pH 9.52), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (the presence of –OH bonds and identification of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin), Raman spectroscopy (no determination of Id/Ig ratio due to high fluorescence), and nitrogen physisorption (specific surface 50.895 m2·g−1). X-ray fluorescence analysis exhibited the composition of the main compounds in the biochar ash (32.5%wt of Cl and 40.02%wt of Na2O). From the energy generation point of view, the lower heating value of the producer gas achieved 6.53 MJ·m−3 during the co-gasification. The relatively high lower heating value of the producer gas was mainly due to the significant volume fractions of CO (6.5%vol.), CH4 (14.2%vol.), and H2 (4.8 %vol.), while hot gas efficiency accomplished 89.6%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Fire I)
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16 pages, 25950 KiB  
Article
Fire Protection of Steel Structures of Oil and Gas Facilities: Multilayer, Removable, Non-Combustible Covers
by Marina Gravit, Vasiliy Prusakov, Nikita Shcheglov and Irina Kotlyarskaya
Fire 2024, 7(3), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030086 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Fire protection is required to protect metal structures of oil and gas facilities from fires. Such fire protection should provide high fire resistance limits: 60, 90, 120 and more minutes. Specialists of LLC “RPC PROMIZOL ” developed a multilayer, removable type of fire [...] Read more.
Fire protection is required to protect metal structures of oil and gas facilities from fires. Such fire protection should provide high fire resistance limits: 60, 90, 120 and more minutes. Specialists of LLC “RPC PROMIZOL ” developed a multilayer, removable type of fire protection made of superfine basalt fibre and ceramic materials for operation in Arctic conditions. Five experimental studies were carried out in standard and hydrocarbon fire regimes. The fire protection effectiveness of the products for I20 beams without load was obtained: a 50 mm thick coating provided 130 min of a standard fire regime; a 15 mm thick coating provided 60 min. The 15 mm thick coating provided 30 min of a hydrocarbon fire regime and the 50 mm thick coating provided 93 min of a hydrocarbon fire regime. The I40 beam under a load of 19.9 tf showed an R243 for the standard fire regime. The coefficients of effective thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity of fire-retardant compositions were determined by solving the inverse heat conduction problem. The problem was solved by modelling using the QuickField 7.0 software package, which implements FEM. Modelling showed that for obtaining the fire resistance limit R120 under the standard fire regime for the sample steel structure from an I40 beam, it is enough to apply fire protection with a thickness of 25 mm instead of 50 mm, which agrees with the experimental data. For the hydrocarbon regime, it is predicted that R120 can be obtained at a thickness of 45 mm instead of 50 mm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Building Fire Safety Engineering)
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19 pages, 4195 KiB  
Article
Critical Egress Parameters Governing Assisted Evacuation in Hospital Buildings
by Venkatesh Kodur, Ankush Jha and Nizar Lajnef
Fire 2024, 7(3), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030085 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 760
Abstract
This paper presents the critical egress parameters that influence emergency evacuation in a typical hospital building. A parametric study of a 20-story hospital building is conducted using a computer model “Pathfinder” to simulate the evacuation efficiency and assess the influencing parameters. The main [...] Read more.
This paper presents the critical egress parameters that influence emergency evacuation in a typical hospital building. A parametric study of a 20-story hospital building is conducted using a computer model “Pathfinder” to simulate the evacuation efficiency and assess the influencing parameters. The main egress parameters that influence the evacuation efficiency, including the location of stairways, number of stairways, location of the fire, exit width, and number of low-speed occupants are varied. Two scenarios are simulated: one being the regular (practice) evacuation drill and the other is the actual fire drill. The result shows that the location of stairways significantly affects the total evacuation time with the optimal stairway arrangement consisting of one stairway outside the core of the building. Similarly, the story level at which the fire occurs is another key parameter with fires at lower levels being critical to dictating the evacuation time in a hospital building. The total evacuation time when the fire occurs between the third and sixth floor is found to be 170 min which is 36% and 15% higher than fires at the top story levels (15–18th floor) and the intermediate story levels (9–12th floor), respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Fire Dynamics and Fire Evacuation)
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15 pages, 9672 KiB  
Article
Advancing Maritime Safety: Early Detection of Ship Fires through Computer Vision, Deep Learning Approaches, and Histogram Equalization Techniques
by Aziza Ergasheva, Farkhod Akhmedov, Akmalbek Abdusalomov and Wooseong Kim
Fire 2024, 7(3), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030084 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 852
Abstract
The maritime sector confronts an escalating challenge with the emergence of onboard fires aboard in ships, evidenced by a pronounced uptick in incidents in recent years. The ramifications of such fires transcend immediate safety apprehensions, precipitating repercussions that resonate on a global scale. [...] Read more.
The maritime sector confronts an escalating challenge with the emergence of onboard fires aboard in ships, evidenced by a pronounced uptick in incidents in recent years. The ramifications of such fires transcend immediate safety apprehensions, precipitating repercussions that resonate on a global scale. This study underscores the paramount importance of ship fire detection as a proactive measure to mitigate risks and fortify maritime safety comprehensively. Initially, we created and labeled a custom ship dataset. The collected images are varied in their size, like having high- and low-resolution images in the dataset. Then, by leveraging the YOLO (You Only Look Once) object detection algorithm we developed an efficacious and accurate ship fire detection model for discerning the presence of fires aboard vessels navigating marine routes. The ship fire detection model was trained on 50 epochs with more than 25,000 images. The histogram equalization (HE) technique was also applied to avoid destruction from water vapor and to increase object detection. After training, images of ships were input into the inference model after HE, to be categorized into two classes. Empirical findings gleaned from the proposed methodology attest to the model’s exceptional efficacy, with the highest detection accuracy attaining a noteworthy 0.99% across both fire-afflicted and non-fire scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protection of Ships against Fire and Personnel Evacuation)
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23 pages, 2700 KiB  
Review
Experimental and Numerical Studies on the Efficacy of Water Mist to Suppress Hydrocarbon Fires in Enclosures
by Khalid Moinuddin, H. M. Iqbal Mahmud, Paul Joseph, Grant Gamble, Brigitta Suendermann, Cameron Wilkinson and James Bossard
Fire 2024, 7(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030083 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Fire is one of the most undesirable events onboard a ship. The engine room is one of the most critical spaces in the ship in terms of fire protection, as it includes machinery, hydrocarbon fuel systems, and different electrical equipment. With the phasing [...] Read more.
Fire is one of the most undesirable events onboard a ship. The engine room is one of the most critical spaces in the ship in terms of fire protection, as it includes machinery, hydrocarbon fuel systems, and different electrical equipment. With the phasing out of Halon 1301 as a fire suppressant over recent decades, there has been an intensive effort to explore the efficacy of water-mist spray in mitigating fires within machinery spaces. This exploration entails a comprehensive investigation through experimental and simulation studies aimed at identifying suppression mechanisms and evaluating their effectiveness. While experimental setups typically encompass measurements of gas temperature, thermal radiation heat flux, oxygen concentration, and fire extinction time, limited attention has been paid to quantifying the heat release rate (HRR), a crucial indicator of fire magnitude. Furthermore, research into shielded fire scenarios remains sparse, despite their significance in maritime fire dynamics. Addressing shielded fires with water mist proves particularly challenging due to the potential obstruction impeding the direct interaction between the fire source and the water droplets. In the existing literature, most of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of fires and suppression was performed using a Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS). Alternate studies were performed using FireFOAM. and very few employed FLUENT and other analogous software codes. In the majority of reported computational studies, the determination of HRR was typically relied upon for its calculation derived from the measured data of fuel mass loss rate. Moreover, certain studies were undertaken for numerical simulations without conducting thorough model validation, either by omitting validation altogether or solely validating against dry fire experiments (i.e., without water-mist suppression). This critical review of the literature has identified several notable research gaps in the context of extinguishing hydrocarbon fires utilising water-mist spray, warranting further investigations. Additionally, this review paper highlights recent advancements in both experimental and numerical investigations pertaining to the efficacy of water-mist fire-suppression systems in enclosed spaces regarding hydrocarbon fires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding the Dissociation and Combustion of Gas Hydrates)
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15 pages, 1742 KiB  
Article
Envisioning Transition from Open Landscapes to Forested Landscapes in the Routt National Forest, Colorado, United States
by Brice B. Hanberry and Jacob M. Seidel
Fire 2024, 7(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030082 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Globally, in remaining wildlands, tree densities and forested cover have increased in grasslands and open forests since European settlement. In the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, United States, we determined tree composition and tree cover from historical (years 1875 to 1896) surveys and [...] Read more.
Globally, in remaining wildlands, tree densities and forested cover have increased in grasslands and open forests since European settlement. In the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, United States, we determined tree composition and tree cover from historical (years 1875 to 1896) surveys and compared them to current (2002 to 2011) tree composition and current (year 2016) forested land cover for 500,000 ha of the Routt National Forest. Additionally, we examined whether changes in precipitation occurred. Regarding composition, pine (primarily lodgepole pine; Pinus contorta) decreased from 65% to 32% of all trees, with increased subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) from 0.5% to 23% of all trees, and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) from 13% to 30% of all trees. According to 80% of 5175 survey points not in forests, the historical landscape was very open, comprised of grasslands, mountain meadows, and other open ecosystems. In contrast, 75% of the current landscape is covered by forests. Change points in the Palmer Modified Drought Index were within historical limits, indicating that forestation was not related to a change in water availability. Based on historical surveys and accounts, we envisioned a historical landscape that was open but embedded with dense lodgepole pine clusters and spruce stands at high elevations, which has now become a predominantly forested landscape of dense forests, similar to global forestation patterns. Full article
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20 pages, 3092 KiB  
Article
A Multicriteria Geographic Information System Analysis of Wildfire Susceptibility in the Andean Region: A Case Study in Ibarra, Ecuador
by Paúl Arias-Muñoz, Santiago Cabrera-García and Gabriel Jácome-Aguirre
Fire 2024, 7(3), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030081 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1113
Abstract
The uncontrolled spread of fire can have huge effects on ecosystems. In Ecuador, in 2022, wildfires caused a loss of 6566.66 hectares of vegetation cover. Ibarra is an Andean canton that has also been exposed to wildfires and their effects. The aim of [...] Read more.
The uncontrolled spread of fire can have huge effects on ecosystems. In Ecuador, in 2022, wildfires caused a loss of 6566.66 hectares of vegetation cover. Ibarra is an Andean canton that has also been exposed to wildfires and their effects. The aim of this study was to map wildfire susceptibility in the Ibarra canton. Seven factors that directly affect these fires were examined: precipitation, temperature, water deficit, potential evapotranspiration, slope, proximity to roads, and land cover and land use. The variables were reclassified using Geographic Information Systems and a multicriteria analysis. The results showed that Ibarra has four susceptibility categories: very low, moderate, high, and very high. The more susceptible areas are those considered to have high and very high exposure, occupying 82% of the surface. Consequently, the most susceptible land covers are crops, pastures, shrub vegetation, and forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Spatial Analysis of Wildfire Planning)
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15 pages, 3246 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of the Smoke Distribution Characteristics in a T-Shaped Roadway
by Cui Ding, Dou Chang, Diange Sun and Songling Zou
Fire 2024, 7(3), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030080 - 03 Mar 2024
Viewed by 769
Abstract
This paper numerically analyzes the influence of heat release rate (HRR) and longitudinal ventilation velocity on smoke distribution characteristics in a T-shaped roadway when the fire source was located upstream of the T-junction. The back-layering length, critical ventilation velocity, smoke temperature, and CO [...] Read more.
This paper numerically analyzes the influence of heat release rate (HRR) and longitudinal ventilation velocity on smoke distribution characteristics in a T-shaped roadway when the fire source was located upstream of the T-junction. The back-layering length, critical ventilation velocity, smoke temperature, and CO concentration in the main and branched roadway were investigated and analyzed. The results showed that the ventilation velocity is the key factor influencing back-layering length, while the effect of HRR on back-layering length is gradually weakened as HRR increases. The critical ventilation velocity in the T-shaped roadway is higher than in a single-tube roadway, and the predicted model of dimensional critical ventilation velocity in a T-shaped bifurcated roadway is proposed. The correlation between average temperature (Z = 1.6 m) (both in the main roadway I and the branched roadway) and ventilation velocity fits the power function, and the variation in average temperature (Z = 1.6 m) according to HRR fits the linear formula. The relation between average concentration of CO (Z = 1.6 m) (both inside the main roadway I and the branched roadway) and longitudinal ventilation velocity follows the power relation, and the variation in average concentration of CO (Z = 1.6 m) according to HRR follows the linear function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire Numerical Simulation)
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28 pages, 3077 KiB  
Review
Lightning-Induced Wildfires: An Overview
by Yang Song, Cangsu Xu, Xiaolu Li and Francis Oppong
Fire 2024, 7(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030079 - 02 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1344
Abstract
Wildfire causes environmental, economic, and human problems or losses. This study reviewed wildfires induced by lightning strikes. This review focuses on the investigations of lightning mechanisms in the laboratory. Also, the paper aims to discuss some of the modeling studies on lightning-induced wildfires [...] Read more.
Wildfire causes environmental, economic, and human problems or losses. This study reviewed wildfires induced by lightning strikes. This review focuses on the investigations of lightning mechanisms in the laboratory. Also, the paper aims to discuss some of the modeling studies on lightning-induced wildfires at different geographical locations using satellite-recorded lightning data and different statistical analyses. This review established that irrespective of the different models used to predict lightning wildfires, there is still a lack of understanding of the lightning-strike ignition mechanism; few experiments have been modeled to establish the dynamics of lightning-strike ignition. Therefore, further research needs to be carried out in this area to understand lightning ignition. It was ascertained from the various statistical modeling that lightning-induced wildfires are exacerbated by the abundant availability of fuel with a lower moisture content and high lightning efficiency. Moreover, because of changes in the climate and weather conditions, i.e., harsh weather and climate conditions due to anthropogenic activities, lightning-induced ignition wildfires have increased over the years, and they are expected to increase in the future if the climate and weather conditions continue to aggravate. Although various modeling studies have identified that lightning-induced wildfires have increased recently, no preventive measures have been conclusively proposed to reduce lightning-caused wildfires. Hence, this aspect of research has to be given critical attention. This review presents information that gives a profound understanding of lightning-induced wildfires, especially factors that influence lightning wildfires, and the state-of-the-art research that has been completed to understand lightning-induced wildfires. Full article
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13 pages, 3273 KiB  
Article
Influence of Smoke Exhaust Volume and Smoke Vent Layout on the Ceiling Centralized Smoke Exhaust Effect in Tunnel Fires
by Youzhi Shi, Shixiong Qian, Pengju Zhao, Pan Guo and Zihe Gao
Fire 2024, 7(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030078 - 01 Mar 2024
Viewed by 771
Abstract
This research focuses on the impact of smoke exhaust volume and smoke vent layout, which are two crucial factors affecting the smoke control efficiency in tunnels, on the smoke exhaust effect in tunnel fires. Numerical simulation methods are employed to investigate the impact [...] Read more.
This research focuses on the impact of smoke exhaust volume and smoke vent layout, which are two crucial factors affecting the smoke control efficiency in tunnels, on the smoke exhaust effect in tunnel fires. Numerical simulation methods are employed to investigate the impact of changing the smoke exhaust volume and the smoke vent number on the smoke exhaust performance in a curved tunnel with a ceiling centralized smoke exhaust system. This research primarily examines the length of the smoke distribution, the smoke temperature under the ceiling, the vertical visibility, and the exhausted smoke mass flow rate. The findings indicate that, in a tunnel with a single-side ceiling centralized smoke exhaust mode, an imbalance in smoke distribution occurs between the upstream and downstream of the fire source. The upstream area experiences a higher amount of smoke, while the downstream area has thinner smoke. Increasing the smoke exhaust volume yielded positive effects on smoke control, as evident in the reduced the smoke spread range, and improved the smoke exhaust efficiency. The influence of changing smoke vent number on the smoke exhaust effect was dependent on the smoke exhaust volume. When the smoke exhaust volume was excessive, altering the number of smoke vents had a minimal impact on smoke exhaust, while in cases with small smoke exhaust volumes, changes in smoke vent numbers obviously influenced the smoke control effect. Therefore, selecting an appropriate smoke exhaust volume and raising the smoke vent number can effectively optimize the performance of the ceiling centralized smoke exhaust system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Fire and Urban Fire Research)
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26 pages, 9548 KiB  
Article
Decision Support for Landscapes with High Fire Hazard and Competing Values at Risk: The Upper Wenatchee Pilot Project
by Haley K. Skinner, Susan J. Prichard and Alison C. Cullen
Fire 2024, 7(3), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030077 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
Background: Climate change is a strong contributing factor in the lengthening and intensification of wildfire seasons, with warmer and often drier conditions associated with increasingly severe impacts. Land managers are faced with challenging decisions about how to manage forests, minimize risk of extreme [...] Read more.
Background: Climate change is a strong contributing factor in the lengthening and intensification of wildfire seasons, with warmer and often drier conditions associated with increasingly severe impacts. Land managers are faced with challenging decisions about how to manage forests, minimize risk of extreme wildfire, and balance competing values at risk, including communities, habitat, air quality, surface drinking water, recreation, and infrastructure. Aims: We propose that land managers use decision analytic frameworks to complement existing decision support systems such as the Interagency Fuel Treatment Decision Support System. Methods: We apply this approach to a fire-prone landscape in eastern Washington State under two proposed landscape treatment alternatives. Through stakeholder engagement, a quantitative wildfire risk assessment, and translating results into probabilistic descriptions of wildfire occurrence (burn probability) and intensity (conditional flame length), we construct a decision tree to explicitly evaluate tradeoffs of treatment alternative outcomes. Key Results: We find that while there are slightly more effective localized benefits for treatments involving thinning and prescribed burning, neither of the UWPP’s proposed alternatives are more likely to meaningfully minimize the risk of wildfire impacts at the landscape level. Conclusions: This case study demonstrates that a quantitatively informed decision analytic framework can improve land managers’ ability to effectively and explicitly evaluate tradeoffs between treatment alternatives. Full article
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17 pages, 4473 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Response of Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) to Fire in Formerly Managed Coniferous Forest in Central Europe
by Václav Zumr, Jiří Remeš and Oto Nakládal
Fire 2024, 7(3), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030076 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 722
Abstract
Forest fires represent a natural element in the dynamics of forest ecosystems. This study investigated the impact of a large-scale forest fire in 2022 (ca. 1300 ha) on epigeic ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). The research was conducted in coniferous forests at six pairwise [...] Read more.
Forest fires represent a natural element in the dynamics of forest ecosystems. This study investigated the impact of a large-scale forest fire in 2022 (ca. 1300 ha) on epigeic ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). The research was conducted in coniferous forests at six pairwise study sites: burnt and unburnt dead spruce from bark beetles, burnt and unburnt clear cut, and burnt and unburnt healthy sites. Each site was replicated in four plots, with two pitfall traps deployed within each plot. In total, 48 pitfall traps (6 × 4 × 2) were installed in April 2023. It was tested how individual sites affected the similarity of ground beetle communities, whether they contained similar life guilds, and how significantly large-scale fire affects the abundance of pyrophilous ground beetles. A total of 5952 individuals and 63 species were recorded. We observed a significant decline in abundance at clear-cut and dead spruce burnt sites (73% and 77.5%, respectively) compared to the unburnt sites. Conversely, abundance increased by 88% at the burnt healthy site compared to the unburnt healthy site. Additionally, significant differences in the number of species per trap and species richness diversity (q = 0, q = 1, q = 2) were found only between burnt and unburnt healthy sites. In general, the highest species richness in the comparison of all study sites was at unburnt clear-cut and burnt healthy sites. Communities of ground beetles responded considerably to the fire, differing significantly from unburnt sites, and demonstrating a high degree of similarity. The original healthy spruce stands had highly homogeneous communities. On the contrary, any disturbance (bark beetle calamity, clear-cut) resulted in an increase in the alpha, beta, and gamma diversities of the ground beetle communities. Burnt sites attracted pyrophilous species (Sericoda quadripunctata, Pterostichus quadrifoveolatus) at very low abundances, with the highest activity in the second half of the season. In conclusion, ground beetles demonstrated a strong short-term response to large-scale fire, forming specific communities. However, pyrophilous ground beetles were unable to occupy a large-scale fire area due to the initial low abundance. Understanding post-fire processes can provide important guidance for management in areas designated for biodiversity enhancement. Full article
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15 pages, 3270 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Assessment of the Effect of Agency-Led Prescribed Burns and Cultural Burns on Soil Properties in Southeastern Australia
by Murramarang Country, Jessica Davis, Jack Simmons, Shane Snelson, Victor Channell, Katharine Haynes, Nicholas Deutscher, Leanne Brook and Anthony Dosseto
Fire 2024, 7(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030075 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2069
Abstract
Fire management techniques play a critical role in mitigating the impact of bushfires on communities and ecosystems. In Australia, government agencies implement hazard reduction burn programs, while Indigenous communities have used fire for ecosystem management for thousands of years. The positive effect of [...] Read more.
Fire management techniques play a critical role in mitigating the impact of bushfires on communities and ecosystems. In Australia, government agencies implement hazard reduction burn programs, while Indigenous communities have used fire for ecosystem management for thousands of years. The positive effect of prescribed burning goes beyond bushfire risk mitigation, with impacts also on soil and ecosystem health. This study evaluates the effects of prescribed burning on soil properties, with implications for soil and ecosystem health. Two fire management techniques were evaluated: agency-led prescribed burning and cultural burning. Both fire treatments resulted in an increase in soil moisture, showing that they positively affect the soil water balance (the greater effect seen following the agency-led burn). Both fire treatments also resulted in a decrease in soil bulk density and an increase in organic matter content, with the greater effect seen for soils affected by the Indigenous-led burn. These results show that both fire management techniques positively affect soil health, with important consequences for aboveground ecosystem health. Cultural burning is the most efficient to promote reduced soil bulk density (important for nutrient availability and microbial activity) and increase carbon and nitrogen stores. Full article
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38 pages, 23899 KiB  
Article
Examining Exposure Fires from the United States National Fire Incident Reporting System between 2002 and 2020
by Derek J. McNamara and William E. Mell
Fire 2024, 7(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030074 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 814
Abstract
Fires resulting from antecedent fires, known as exposure fires, can manifest across diverse environments, including suburban, urban, and rural areas. Notably, exposure fires represented by structure-destroying fires within the wildland–urban interface (WUI) can extend into non-WUI suburban and urban regions, presenting significant challenges. [...] Read more.
Fires resulting from antecedent fires, known as exposure fires, can manifest across diverse environments, including suburban, urban, and rural areas. Notably, exposure fires represented by structure-destroying fires within the wildland–urban interface (WUI) can extend into non-WUI suburban and urban regions, presenting significant challenges. Leveraging data from the United States National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) spanning 2002 to 2020, this study investigates 131,739 exposure fire incidents impacting 348,089 features (incidents). We analyze reported economic costs, affected feature types, and property utilization patterns for these exposure fires. We also compare these exposure fires to information documented in other databases. Finally, we examine structure separation distance at residential dwellings and describe ignition pathways for selected fires. Reported property losses for some fire incidents amounted to USD 5,647,121,172, with content losses totaling USD 1,777,345,793. Prominent fire incident categories include buildings, vehicles, and natural vegetation fires, predominantly occurring in residential, outdoor, and storage areas. While the NFIRS lacked information on most major structure-destroying WUI fires, highlighting this analysis’s lack of statistical representation, it did provide insights into less extensive exposure fires, both WUI and non-WUI, unrecorded elsewhere. Our study reveals significant distinctions in the distribution of separation distances between damaged-to-damaged structures (average separation of 6.5 m) and damaged-to-not-damaged structures (average separation of 18.1 m). Notably, 84% of the incidents in exposure fires involved fire suppression defensive actions. These defensive actions contributed to the differences in structure separation distance distributions, highlighting the often-neglected role of these measures in assessing structure responses during WUI fires. We examined ignition pathways at select exposure fires, highlighting some common features involved in fire spread and challenges in documenting these pathways. Finally, we propose a set of idealized attributes for documenting exposure fires, accentuating the inherent difficulties in collecting such data across expansive geographical areas, particularly when striving for statistical representation. Our findings yield valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of exposure fires, informing future research and database development to aid in mitigating their impact on vulnerable communities. Full article
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19 pages, 4266 KiB  
Article
Timescales Associated with the Evolution of Reactive Scalar Gradient in Premixed Turbulent Combustion: A Direct Numerical Simulation Analysis
by Nilanjan Chakraborty and Cesar Dopazo
Fire 2024, 7(3), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/fire7030073 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 783
Abstract
The fractional change in the reaction progress variable gradient depends on the flow normal straining within the flame and also upon the corresponding normal gradients of the reaction rate and its molecular diffusion transport. The statistical behaviours of the normal strain rate and [...] Read more.
The fractional change in the reaction progress variable gradient depends on the flow normal straining within the flame and also upon the corresponding normal gradients of the reaction rate and its molecular diffusion transport. The statistical behaviours of the normal strain rate and the contributions arising from the normal gradients of the reaction rate and molecular diffusion rate within the flame were analysed by means of a Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) database of statistically planar turbulent premixed flames ranging from the wrinkled/corrugated flamelets regime to the thin reaction zones regime. The interaction of flame-normal straining with the flame-normal gradient of molecular diffusion rate was found to govern the reactive scalar gradient transport in the preheat zone, where comparable timescales for turbulent straining and molecular diffusion are obtained for small values of Karlovitz numbers. However, the molecular diffusion timescale turns out to be smaller than the turbulent straining timescale for high values of Karlovitz numbers. By contrast, the reaction and hot product zones of the flame remain mostly unaffected by turbulence, and the reactive scalar gradient transport in this zone is determined by the interaction between the flame-normal gradients of molecular diffusion and chemical reaction rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Combustion and Fire I)
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