Extreme Fires. New challenges

Lead Author Alexander, Filkov
Institution Contact University of Melbourne, 4 Water St, Creswick, Victoria, 3363, Australia
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.4 Vulnerability of Arctic Communities to Natural Disasters
Datetime Wed, Sep 14, 2016 03:45 PM - 04:00 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Every year large wildfires take place around the world. They occur in different regions and ecosystems, whether northern boreal forests (Valendik et al., 2014) or bush forests (Cruz et al., 2012). In recent decades the term Extreme Fires was introduced to describe this phenomenon. Extreme fire behaviour usually involved high rate of spread, prolific crowning/spotting, presence of fire whirls, and strong convection column. The fire is three dimensional and is not steady state. Predictability is difficult because such fires often exercise some degree of influence on their environment and behave erratically, sometimes dangerously (Werth et al. 2011). Research into extreme fire behaviour may one day result in development of three-dimensional tools.

The first mention of “the extreme fire behaviour” was made by George Byram in 1954. In recent years much effort has been made to improve this situation. It is supposed that spotting is the dominant fire propagation process for extreme fires (short, medium and long range). Also a sign of an extreme fire is a well-developed convection column over a fire. Unfortunately, at the present time there is no a full understanding of this phenomenon, namely, what drives this phenomenon and what are the main mechanisms. Therefore, this work is devoted to review of available publications regarding the extreme fires and the analysis of their behaviour.
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