Simulation of the Collapse of Bent-Over Vortex Pairs Observed in Wildland Fires

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During intense wildland fires a transient vortex pair sometimes occurs that may form with a near vertical axis but then bends over and becomes horizontal. Collapsing limbs of these vortex pairs threaten fire fighters. Therefore, this study simulated vortex collapse in a wind tunnel. Collapse was produced by cross air flow upstream of the heat source. Using an upstream, wing-shaped obstacle to create cross air flow, the wind tunnel experiments showed that small changes in wing angle, and thus cross air flow, could cause major changes in the structure of the vortex pair. For. Sci. 38(1):68-79.

Keywords: Fire whirlwinds; fire weather; wind tunnels

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Mechanical Engineering Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Publication date: February 1, 1992

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