Science

The Science Of Fighting Fires


Episode 4 of 5

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2015 was the 7th year that more than 8 million acres of land was burned in U.S. wildfires since 1960. The other years? 2004, 2011, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

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Previous Episode:

When Did Humans First Harness Fire?: https://youtu.be/8XH0X6Gq5yc?list=PLwwOk5fvpuuJ67VVIHnTQ_SbqqxeEEhI9

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Sources:

Wildfires have now burned a massive 8 million acres across the U.S.:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/01/wildfires-have-now-burned-a-massive-8-million-acres-across-the-u-s-this-year/

“As of Tuesday, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, more than 8 million acres have burned in U.S. wildfires in 2015. 8,202,557 of them, to be precise. That’s an area larger than the state of Maryland.”

Why Big, Intense Wildfires Are the New Normal:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130827-wildfires-yosemite-fire-firefighters-vegetation-hotshots-california-drought/

“The large wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park has already consumed more than 184,000 acres, and shows no signs of slowing down.”

Fuel and Fire Breaks:
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb1167385.pdf

“Your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office has experienced conservationists that can assist you with a plan to improve your small woodlot.”

A Mathematical Model For Predicting Fire Spread In Wildland Fuels:
http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_int/int_rp115.pdf

“Forest managers as well as those engaged in research involving fires in forests,
brush fields, and grasslands need a consistent method for predicting fire
spread and intensity in these fuels.”

The Rothermel Fire-Spread Model::
https://www.firescience.gov/Digest/FSdigest2.pdf

“It is August of 1979, a hot, dry summer. The Montana woods, spattered by lightning, are erupting in one forest fire after another.”

Modern Residential Fires:
http://newscience.ul.com/articles/modern-residential-fires

“UL determined that fires today are more dangerous and pose more risks than in the past. Fire propagation is faster, and time to flashover, escape times and collapse times are all shorter.”

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