Title: Modeling wind adjustment factor and midflame wind speed for Rothermel's surface fire spread model
Author: Andrews, Patricia L.
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-266. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 39 p.
Station ID: GTR-RMRS-266
Description: Rothermel's surface fire spread model was developed to use a value for the wind speed that affects surface fire, called midflame wind speed. Models have been developed to adjust 20-ft wind speed to midflame wind speed for sheltered and unsheltered surface fuel. In this report, Wind Adjustment Factor (WAF) model equations are given, and the BehavePlus fire modeling system is used to demonstrate WAF calculation and effect on modeled fire behavior. There are differences in implementation of the same basic wind adjustment models in various fire behavior applications, including the Fireline Handbook and FARSITE. Differences are due to assumptions such as tree shape and rules for transition from sheltered to unsheltered conditions. Specifics are given for differences among WAF tables and calculation applications. This technical documentation is useful to analysts, system developers, fire weather meteorologists, and those who are interested in model background and foundation.
Keywords: wildland fire, fire behavior, fire danger rating, fire modeling, fire spread
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Andrews, Patricia L. 2012. Modeling wind adjustment factor and midflame wind speed for Rothermel's surface fire spread model. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-266. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 39 p..