Modeling Wildfire Behavior

Team: 48


Area of Science: Botany


Problem Definition:
There are many cases where people have been able to explain certain wildfire behaviors. However, there remain many unsolved problems regarding the motion of wildfires. We are aiming to determine the factors responsible in these unsolved cases.

Problem Solution:
Our final program will run within MPI, encompassing more factors that are included in our original simulation. This model will provide a better understanding of the essential parameters governing wildfire behavior.

Progress to Date:
We have developed a program for a preliminary model using StarLogo. Although we have greatly simplified the variables, it still gives a fairly accurate simulation of a wildfire in a simple forest. After we finish our experimentation in StarLogo, we will start developing a working model in C++, which will improve the accuracy and power of our model.

Expected Results:
We are trying to find a logical way to determine and control key intervals within the evolution of a wildfire. After modeling this problem within MPI, we expect to show how the motion of wildfires is affected by environmental factors (such as temperature, humidity, and wind velocity) and compositional factors within the forest.

Susan Conard and Mike Hilbruner. "Influence of Forest Structure on Wildfire Behavior and the Severity of Its Effects."

Randall, Cotton. "Fire in the Wildland-Urban Interface: Understanding Fire Behavior."

Johnson, Don. "Understanding Wildfire Behavior in Michigan."

Russell Graham, Sarah McCaffrey, and Theresa Jain. "Science Basis for Changing Forest Structure to Modify Wildfire Behavior and Severity."

Finney, Mark. "Spatial Patterns of Fuel Treatments and Some Effects on Fire Growth and Behavior."

William Hargrove and Robert Gardner. "Source Code for the EMBYR Wildfire Simulation Model"

Bradley, Michael. "This Model can Take the Heat."

Team Members:

  Emily Montana
  Daniel Cox
  Stoyana Alexandrova
  Jonathan Robey
  Samantha Stutz

Sponsoring Teacher: Diane Medford