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Wildfire Visualizations

Forest fires are exceedingly complex phenomena. They possess complex chemistry, exhibit nonlinear behaviour, and their associated radiation and combustion properties are not well understood. The mechanisms by which they spread are also not well-understood, but have to do with the advection of hot gases and lofting of burning material. A better understanding of wildfires could lead to an ability to predict, manage, and train for such disasters. Scientists at NCAR have coupled numerical regional weather simulations with fire spread models to advance our understanding of wildfires, creating the visualizations below.

  Forest Fire Simulation   Fire Simulation on Flat Land
The early results shown here help to understand the circulation dynamics of a fire storm on a flat land surface.
    Fire Simulation on 200 Meter Hill
This simulation prescribed similiar fuels to the flat land simulation, but with the addition of a 200 meter hill with upslope winds that drive the spread of the fire.
    Universal Fire Shape, Twirls & Bursts
Explore the basis of the universal fire shape as well as twirl and burst behavior.
    Simulation of Big Elk Fire
This is a computer simulation of the Big Elk Fire, which occurred 7/17/02 near Lyons, Colorado.