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FUEL MAPPING AND FIRE PHYSICS

Available: January 2022

We are creating a first-of-its-kind large-scale burn chamber, constructed from a grain bin roughly 50 feet high and 42 feet in diameter. Our scientists will be able to replicate the fuel beds in California forests, including large branches and logs, and then burn them while controlling wind and moisture levels. Sensors and scales will allow scientists to quantify emissions, heat release rate, and mass loss. Especially important will be the details of how large fuels transition from smoldering to flaming combustion, releasing vastly more heat and accelerating the spread of wildfires. The data will become inputs to the next generation of wildfire behavior models.

This page will feature results from the research, as well as video of selected large-scale burn chamber experiments.

FIRE SCIENCE TEAM
Burn Chamber Experiments

Pyregence is advancing the science of solid-fuel combustion. The large- and small-scale burn chamber experiments will improve our understanding of the basic science of how fuels burn, including the transition from smoldering to flaming combustion, heat release rates, burn rates, and gas emissions.

A better understanding of burn physics will lead to improved wildfire forecasts, which will help researchers, electric utility companies, and fire management agencies improve their decision-making and reduce risk to communities and utility infrastructure.