NIST on wildland fire

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is becoming more involved in wildland fire. Their web site lists numerous research initiatives, projects, and simulations including:

[Update September 9, 2019: originally we had links for all of the topics below, but now none of them work. Here is a current link to the NIST website.]

  • Fire Behavior in Structural Fuels
    • Structure-to-structure fire spread
  • Fire Behavior in Vegetative Fuels
    • Burning single isolated trees (experiments and computer simulations)
    • Some grassland fire simulation results
    • Example of a grass fire spreading into a partially thinned forest with transition to crowning
    • Example of a fire spreading through excelsior surface fuel under a 6 m tall tree
    • Enclosure effects in a laboratory experiment of fire spread in excelsior
  • Fire Behavior in the Intermix of Vegetative and Structural Fuels
    • Example of a grass fire spreading towards structures with different fuel treatments
  • Firebrand Experiments

One of their recent projects was an in-depth study of the fire behavior and defensive actions taken during the Oct. 21-22, 2007 Witch fire northeast of San Diego, CA. Their report details the approach of the fire, the effects of the fire in the community, and defensive actions taken by owners and first responders.

The NIST describes their organization this way:

Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

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