Analytical Fire Modeling: Fire in its Environment

Team: 77


Area of Science: Environmental Sciences

Abstract: The question being addressed by this research team is "Can fire flow within a forest environment be accurately modeled using Huygens principles?"

About five-million acres of woodland forests burn in the United Sates every year. While most fires are small and easily contained, some can grow exponentially into massive fires that can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Almost five years ago, the Cerro Grande fire decimated thousands of acres of national and private land. More recently, there have been fires in the Albuquerque Bosque that threatened city buildings and the local population.

Using C++ to construct a mathematical model based on Huygens Principle, the team will develop a program to model three-dimensional fire progression and heat flow in a given area. If time allows, the research team will also model external factors including human intervention and other factors. Huygens principles and equations can be found at .

Team Members:

  Christopher Morrison
  Nicholas Kutac

Sponsoring Teacher: Debra Loftin