April 16, 2014

April 23-24, 2009
Workshop on Fire Spotting
Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto
33 Willcocks St, Toronto, Ontario

Local Organizers:
David Stanford, Rob Mcalpine, Mike Wotton

Workshop Description

Mathematical and statistical interest in the modelling of forest fire behaviour has increased recently, and this development is timely because of increased fire risks due to climate change and increases in population at the wildland-urban interface.
An important and diffcult problem which has not received adequate attention is fire- spotting behaviour. Large-scale forest fires often generate powerful up-drafts which carry firebrands into the atmosphere; the firebrands are then transported to regions remote from the original fire. If the firebrand lands on dry unburnt fuel, a new fire (a spot-fire) may begin. Such spot-fires increase the rate of spread of fires and enable fires to spread across natural and artificial firebreaks such as rivers and roads. Thus, spot-fires are a particularly dangerous aspect of the forest fire management problem. At the same time, fire-spotting lends itself to a rich set of open mathematical and statistical modelling problems.
The objective of the proposed workshop is to bring together mathematicians, statisticians, engineering scientists and forest fire modellers and managers to identify good approaches to this problem. For example, we will learn about some preliminary investigations into the linking of a transport model for firebrands into an advection-reaction-diffusion model. With models such as this in mind, we will discuss data acquisition plans with forest managers who are set to acquire a substantial set of spot-fire behaviour data in late 2009, using infra-red photography. The plan is to obtain data from a set of prescribed fires on firebrand source and
material, volume, destination and result. Furthermore, wind engineers will also be planning corresponding wind tunnel experiments. Thus, this workshop presents a rare opportunity to bring together experts from a wide variety of fields to set up an optimal data collection design. With properly collected data, the Canadian math community will have a valuable resource to help it solve a modelling problem of tremendous importance.

Invited Participants:

Chris Bose, Victoria
Robert Bryce, Prometheus Software Dev't
John Braun, Western Ontario
Brett Butler, USDA Forest Service
Derek Ming Onn Chong, Melbourne
Michael Francis
, U. Victoria
Jim Gould, CSIRO / Canadian Forest Service
Lengyi Han, Western Ontario
Thomas Hillen
, University of Alberta
Hye-Rin Kim, Western Ontario
Greg Kopp,Western Ontario
Chelene Krezek, Canadian Forest Service
Zinovi Krougly, Western Ontario
Reg Kulperger, Western Ontario
Nathalie Lavoie, Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune de Québec
Jonathan Lee
, Western Ontario
Rodney Linn, Los Alamos, National Laboratory
Weiwei Liu
, Western Ontario
Esam Mahdi, Western Ontario
Dave Martell, UToronto
Rob Mcalpine, Ontario MNR
Ian McLeod,Western Ontario
Cordy Tymstra, Alberta Sustainable Resource Dev't
Mike Wotton, Canadian Forest Service/UToronto
Hao Yu, Western Ontario

Tentative Program

Thursday April 23
1:00 Welcome
Rob Mcalpine, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Applied Models - current state of the art
1:10 Canadian FBP system - current and future treatment of spotting
Mike Wotton, U of T / Canadian Forest Service
1:30 US models of spot fire and their applications
Brett Butler, USDA Forest Service
1:50 Prometheus and spot fires
Cordy Tymstra, Promoetheus
2:10 Phoenix project - realistic spotting model development
Derek Onn Cho , U. Melbourne
2:30 Break
Current Experimentation
2:45 Spot fire models and research in Australia
Jim Gould, CSIRO / Canadian Forest Service
3:20 IR Camera research into Fire Behavior in Canada
Chelene Krezek
, Canadian Forest Service
3:40 NIST Talk
4:20 Round table
all - lead by RSM
5:00 end
Friday, April 24
8:45 welcome back - recap
Rob or Dave Stanford
Theoretical Modelling
8:50 Title TBA
Rodney Linn, Los Alamos, National Laboratory
9:20 What distribution do spotting distances follow?
Dave Stanford, UWO
9:50 Wind Tunnel Modelling
Greggory Kopp, UWO
10:30 Break
10:45 Mathematical modelling of spotting
Thomas Hillen / Jon Martin, U. Alberta
11:15 Parallel spatial grid computing
Hao Yu, UWO
11:30 Lunch
1:00 Round Table
all - led by DAS / BMW
2:00 Summary --- Future Plans
all - led by RSM
2:15 Possibility for small group breakout meetings
3:00 end



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