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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Visit by Prof Fernandez-Pello and seminar on wildland fires

Prof. Carlos Fernandez-Pello, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean of the Graduate Division at the University of California at Berkeley gave the seminar "Modeling Wildland Fire Propagation and Spotting" on Friday 27th March.

This presentation provides an overview of current capabilities for predicting wildland fire spread, with a focus on formation of spot fires (spotting). Under dry, hot, and windy conditions (such as Santa Anna winds in California), spotting is the primary mechanism of fire spread. Each of the main steps of spot fire formation are discussed: 1) ember/particle generation, 2) particle lofting and transport, and 3) ignition of target fuel beds by heated particles or embers. The presentation concludes with an overview of surface fire propagation modeling and its application to a real fire that occurred in California.

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