The objective of this project is to demonstrate and test newly enhanced wildland fire plume development and smoke dispersion capabilities of the operational-speed coupled fire/atmosphere model, QUIC-Fire. This project will demonstrate and validate Quick Urban & Industrial Complex (QUIC)-Fire’s ability to capture the influences of ignition patterns (i.e., fire geometry) on smoke-core development, self-organization, and QUIC-SMOKE ability to capture downwind dispersion under a range of realistic wind conditions through improved representation of near-field weather conditions, fire/atmosphere coupling, and plume organization. While smoke modeling capabilities already exist, they were not developed to consider complex ignition patters and do not integrate easily with fire models used by fire managers. Specifically, the project objectives will:
The expected outcome is realistic ensembles (1,000s to 10,000s of simulations) of coupled fire-atmosphere smoke products that demonstrate and validate QUIC-Fire’s ability to represent the relevant phenomenology required for managing smoke dispersion. This project will highlight scenarios where QUIC-Fire can be applied with confidence and identify needed refinements or limitations. The outreach efforts aim at building a DoD user community that will guide model application and improvements with fire managers needs in mind.
This project involves three main components. The first component focuses on the development of new scientific capabilities in QUIC-Fire in relation to improved wind representations. This component will improve Department of Defense (DoD) fire managers ability to capture fire and smoke consequences, especially in complex mountainous terrain. Success will be measured through comparisons between fire and smoke patterns obtained with current methodologies vs. the new developments. The second component focuses on model validation against FIRETEC and experimental campaigns covering a range of fire environmental conditions to demonstrate the new capabilities that the QUIC-Fire/QUIC-SMOKE tool suite brings to fire managers. Success will be measured through comparisons between observed and simulated data. The third component guarantees that the tool is effectively transitioned to fire managers for testing and training.
DoD fire managers will have access to a vastly improved and validated wildland fire/smoke modeling system, one developed specifically to address the requirements identified by DoD fire managers. The test phase will explicitly target smoke management planning by DoD fire managers and will provide understanding of the link between ignition pattern and smoke dispersion in different atmospheric and terrain conditions, which is critical for sustaining and expanding prescribed fire operations on DoD lands. From a direct mission-support standpoint, more precise coupled fire and smoke modeling will reduce impacts from smoke on test and training as well as nearby communities and infrastructure. The advanced smoke modeling capability will be also particularly useful in case of areas that have not been burned in recent years due to adverse weather conditions when the areas were not in use for the military (Towns, 2022) and are, therefore, littered with large debris that may smolder for days. The ability to burn those areas without unnecessarily impacting communities, training, and operations will support DoD fire managers ability to increase acreage treated with prescribed fire. Significant benefit will also come via safer operations that link planned ignitions to potential fire and smoke behavior. In addition, the outreach effort will bring the tool in the hands of a set of DoD practitioners, will educate them on best practices and on how to interpret inputs and results. During such outreach activity dataset needed for non-expert users fruition will be developed in the context of fuel beds and wind libraries. These aspects are critical to transition QUIC-Fire to operational use by DoD fire managers.
Towns, Tiara. Fort Benning plans authorized burns March 1, 2022. News 3, Posted: Mar 1, 2022. Last access Jul 29, 2022. https://www.wrbl.com/news/local-news/fort-benning-plans-authorized-burns-march1-2022/