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Flame-Front Rate of Spread Estimates for Moderate Scale Experimental Fires Are Strongly Influenced by Measurement Approach

1
Canadian Forest Service, Great Lakes Forestry Centre, 1219 Queen Street E, Sault Ste Marie, ON P6A 2E5, Canada
2
King’s College London, Department of Geography, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK
3
Aviation Forest Fire and Emergency Services, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, 95 Ghost Lake Road, Dryden, ON P8N 0A2, Canada
4
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) at King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK
5
College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Mailbox 352100, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
6
School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract

Understanding wildfire rate of spread (RoS) is often a key objective of many fire behavior modelling and measurement exercises. Using instrumented moderate scale laboratory burns we provide an assessment of eight different methods of flame front RoS determination, including visible imagery (VIS) analysis techniques, use of thermocouple arrays, and four thermal infrared (IR) image analysis approaches. We are able to (1) determine how measurement approach influences derived RoS, and (2) recommend the best method to reproduce the accepted standard (Thermocouple Grid Array measurement) RoS without ground sampling. We find that derived RoS is statistically significantly influenced by the measurement approach, and that failing to fully account for directionality of the RoS may result in significant error. We identify one of the thermal infrared imaging methods (described in Paugam et al. 2013), as the most appropriate for providing rate and direction of spread at these scales of measurement. View Full-Text
Keywords: wildfire rate of spread; fire behavior; fire intensity; Thermocouple; infrared imaging; method selection; visible imagery wildfire rate of spread; fire behavior; fire intensity; Thermocouple; infrared imaging; method selection; visible imagery
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Johnston, J.M.; Wheatley, M.J.; Wooster, M.J.; Paugam, R.; Davies, G.M.; DeBoer, K.A. Flame-Front Rate of Spread Estimates for Moderate Scale Experimental Fires Are Strongly Influenced by Measurement Approach. Fire 2018, 1, 16.

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