Canadian Forest Service Publications
Chaos on the fire line. 1993. McAlpine, R.S.; Wotton, B.M. pages 506-510 of the 12th Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology, October 26-28, 1993, Jekyll Island, Georgia.
Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 36063
Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)
Forest fire perimeters, in both Canada and the United States are predicted with an elliptical growth model, or acellular growth model, that emulates an ellipse. Recently it has been shown that the fractal dimension, a measure of line "wiggliness", anda subdivision ofthe science of Chaos, can be applied to forest fire perimeters. This paper takes the theoretical fractal fire perimeter model, and produces an easily applied, simplified model. In this applied model, not only the traditional factors such as spread rate and fire shape influence the fire perimeter, but also the suppression tactics enter into the calculation. By using the fractal fire perimeter, rather than the straight line or elliptically predicted fire perimeter, Fire Managers can better approximate the suppression effort required to contain a wildland fire. KEYWORDS:Chaos, fractal, fire behavior, fire growth, fire models.