Document Type


Publication Date

January 2008

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


Wildland fires radically modify the atmospheric boundary layer by inducing strong fire-atmosphere interactions. These interactions lead to intense turbulence production in and around the fire front. Two field experiments were conducted in tall-grass fuels to quantify turbulence generation during the passage of wind-driven fire fronts. Observations showed that the measured turbulence generated by the fires was five times greater than the turbulence in the ambient environment. The production of the turbulence at the surface near the fire front was caused by increased variance of the ambient wind, while the buoyancy was strongest at higher levels within the fire plume. Immediately after the fire front passage, turbulence kinetic energy decreased to ambient levels and was associated with strong downdrafts that occurred behind the fire front.


Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
This article was originally published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, volume 113, issue D22, and can be found online at this link:
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