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The Modeling of Fire Whirlwinds

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The fire whirlwind, an erratic and violent phenomenon associated with the behavior of intense fires, may generate velocities comparable to those reached in tornadoes. All the conditions essential to the formation of fire whirlwinds can be readily produced in the laboratory on a model scale. The authors have produced these vortices by many different techniques, either in enclosed chambers or in the open air, and have made velocity determinations. The equations used for computing velocities in the models appear to give reasonable results for full-scale fire whirlwinds as well as for dust devils. The calculated velocities seem rather low for tornadoes, unless it is assumed that height of the tornado vortex system is considerably greater than the visible funnel. Forest Sci. 16:386-399.
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Keywords: Fire vortices; convection columns; fluid sink; generating eddy

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, Dep. of Forestry and Wildlife, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg

Publication date: 1970-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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