Radiant heat, embers, and the ignitability of structures

Here are a couple of interesting videos featuring Jack Cohen, a researcher at the Missoula Fire Science Lab. The videos explain radiant heat and how difficult it is for fine fuels and structures to ignite from that alone, and the role of embers in spreading fire and burning structures.

via @FireInfoGirl

Friday, Feb. 13, live discussion with Jack Cohen

We have scheduled another live discussion.

Friday afternoon (U.S. time) we are going to host another live interactive discussion right here. The subjects will be:

  • Is Prepare, Stay, and Defend feasible? (Known in Australia as “Prepare, Stay and Defend OR Go Early”
  • What are the likely causes for so many people in the recent fires in Victoria, Australia being killed in their homes and also in their vehicles while evacuating?
  • Can Prepare, Stay, and Defend work in the United States?
  • How much Preparation must be done in order to Stay and Defend?

Jack Cohen will be the headliner and will assist me in moderating the discussion. Jack is a Research Physical Scientist with the Fire Sciences Laboratory at Missoula, Montana and has done a great deal of research on how much clearance is needed in order to protect a structure, the “home ignition zone”, how structures actually ignite and burn during a wildland fire, and a home’s ignition potential during a wildland fire.

Much of his experience has been gained from going into communities that have been severely damaged in wildland fires and determining why some structures burned and others did not. We have referred to Jack’s work before HERE, in an article about the 199 homes that were destroyed in the October, 2007 Grass Valley fire near Lake Arrowhead, California

HERE is a link to one of his recent publications, “The Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Problem”. Several more of his papers are HERE.

The format will be text. You will be able to type in your comments or questions in real time and anyone will be able to comment or answer back. However, not necessarily everyone’s comments will appear. If the traffic is heavy, we will selectively choose which comments would be of the most interest to the audience. And, of course, rude or obscene comments will not be approved. You do not need any special software to participate. Just choose a name for yourself, then type in your thoughts.

It will be at http://wildfiretoday.blogspot.com The post with the discussion feature will appear 10-15 minutes before the discussion officially starts. You may need to refresh your screen if you get there early.

It will begin at:
5:00 p.m. ET (Friday, Feb. 13);
4:00 p.m. CT (Friday);
3:00 p.m. MT (Friday);
2:00 p.m. PT (Friday);
9:00 a.m. (Saturday, Feb. 14) Melbourne, Australia;
00:01 a.m. (Saturday) in Athens, Greece; and
10:00 p.m. (Friday Feb. 13) UTC (GMT).

If you have ideas about topics for future discussions, or if you are a subject matter expert and would like to help lead or moderate one, let us know.