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Available: MAY 2022

Burn Chamber
First-of-its-kind large-scale burn chamber
Burn Chamber
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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.

Mapping Fuels

Pyregence is developing a protocol for sampling forest fuels and integrating the information into a thematic map. We’re using satellite imagery and aerial LiDAR, combined with field measurements, to characterize vegetation types and the amount, size, depth, and nature of forest fuels in granular detail.

These factors will then be entered into spatially explicit fuel models, which will help researchers, electric utility companies, and fire management agencies improve their decision-making and reduce risk to communities and utility infrastructure.