Numerical investigation of fire dynamics in the presence of burning obstacles under a unidirectional wind

Shijin P. Kozhumal, Giovanni Di Cristina, Nicholas S. Skowronski, Albert Simeoni, Seong Kyun Im, Ali S. Rangwala

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Prediction of forest fire spread is challenging due to irregular distribution of fuel and unpredictability in the flow and combustion scenarios. The present study proposes a numerical approach to investigate a simplified problem of fire spread in the presence of burning obstacles under a unidirectional wind. Three-dimensional, turbulent, unsteady, incompressible flow calculations have been carried out using the Fire Dynamics Simulator. The turbulent flow is modeled using Large Eddy Simulation with a time marching scheme for the momentum transport. The effect of combustion and radiation are accounted for using source terms in the energy transport equation. Wooden obstacles that mimic shrub structures are placed in a computational domain of 6 x 1.5 x 2.26 m. Different cases, consisting of a single obstacle, multiple obstacles placed along and normal to the flow direction, are simulated with a uniform velocity of 3 m/s. The interactions between the flow dynamics and the flame fluctuations are analyzed from the three-dimensional flow and temperature field. The effect of spatial distribution of the obstacles on the fire dynamics are analyzed using time histories and spectra of velocity and temperature obtained from discrete Fourier transform of the unsteady data. The soot formation and its trajectory have also been analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting - College Park, United States
Duration: 2017 Apr 232017 Apr 26


Conference10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCollege Park


  • Burning obstacles
  • Fire dynamics
  • Forest fire
  • Large Eddy Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical investigation of fire dynamics in the presence of burning obstacles under a unidirectional wind'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this