Slope’s Effect on Discrete Tree Fire Simulations

Joseph Theiss


A quasi-physical flame simulation was built. It featured the physics for heat propagation based off of buoyancy and Newton’s law of cooling, variable slope, variable tree height, and variable tree distance, and custom environmental factors such as ambient pressure. All these factors were controlled to examine their effect on fire propagation and to examine why fire spreads faster uphill. It was found that slope, tree distance, and tree height play major roles in determining simulation outcomes, and that these outcomes could be matched to real world values. Notably in slope vs. fire front velocity, a spike characteristic shows strong ties to the theory of down propagation despite bad calibration methods.