Fuelbreak effectiveness against wind-driven and plume-dominated fires: a 3D numerical study

The effectiveness of a fuelbreak, created in a homogeneous grassland on a flat terrain, was studied numerically. The analysis relies on 3D numerical simulations that were performed using a detailed physical-fire-model (FIRESTAR3D) based on a multiphase formulation. To avoid border effects, calculations were carried out by imposing periodic boundary conditions along the two lateral sides of the computational domain, reproducing that way a quasi-infinitely long fire front. A total of 72 simulations were carried out for various wind speeds, fuel heights, and fuelbreak widths, which allowed to cover a large spectrum of fire behaviour, ranging from plume-dominated fires to wind-driven fires. The results were classified in three main categories: 1- “Propagation” if fire crossed the fuelbreak with a continuous fire front, 2- “Overshooting” and “Marginal” if fire marginally crosses the fuelbreak with the formation of burning pockets, and 3- “No propagation” if fire does not cross at all the fuelbreak. The ratio of fuelbreak width to fuel height, marking the “Propagation”/“No propagation” transition, was found to be scaled with Byram's convection number Nc as 75.07 × Nc−0.46. The numerical results were also compared to an operational wildfire engineering tool (DIMZAL) dedicated to fuelbreaks dimensioning.

Nicolas Frangieh, Gilbert Accary, Jean-Louis Rossi, Dominique Morvan, Sofiane Meradji, et al.. Fuelbreak effectiveness against wind-driven and plume-dominated fires: a 3D numerical study. Fire Safety Journal, Elsevier, 2021, pp.103383. ⟨10.1016/j.firesaf.2021.103383⟩. ⟨hal-03258935⟩

Journal: Fire Safety Journal

Date de publication: 01-06-2021

  • Nicolas Frangieh
  • Gilbert Accary
  • Jean-Louis Rossi
  • Dominique Morvan
  • Sofiane Meradji
  • Thierry Marcelli
  • François-Joseph Chatelon

Digital object identifier (doi): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2021.103383

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