Fire Research and Collaboration

Grants and Contracts Details


Although significant research effort has been made in wildland fire study, it continues to present interesting and challenging academic problems. Wildland fire phenomenon has not being explained to the level of first principles. The mechanism of flame spread through forests is still not well understood, and further research toward that goal is needed. A successful forest fire spreading model requires not only understanding combustion and heat transfer processes, but also the dynamic system within which they interact. Thus, this project attempt to discover and understand the dynamic system within which flame instability, flow dynamics, and convective heat transfer causes flame spread through a forest. The following are poorly understood phenomena, which requires analytical treatment: (1) Fuel particle heat exchange mechanism (radiation and convection), investigating the flow mechanism influencing convection such as: turbulence, buoyancy driven instability resulting in periodicity and pulsating nature of the spread (2) Fire spread on steep slopes with the fire edge roughly following a contour of constant elevation, (3) Issues associated with burning live fuels with moisture content by weight greater than 100%. This project seeks to address the aforementioned challenges by harnessing and applying complementary expertise, infrastructure, and experimental procedures between the University of Kentucky (UK), Lexington KY and the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS), Missoula MT. The experimental aspects of the project include small-scale testing at the UK, larger-scale wind tunnel testing at the RMRS, and observations of field fires and examinations of fire data/footage. The anticipated outcomes are: (1) an improved understanding of the burning characteristics and physical mechanisms of wildland fires; (2) a new understanding on forest fire dynamics as a function of fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and thermal and fuel systems in the wildland; and (3) modeling and formulation of the spreading mechanism and dynamics of wildland fire.
Effective start/end date7/31/1212/31/15


  • US Department of Agriculture


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.