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Fire Whirl due to Interaction between Line Fire and Cross Wind

Zhou K., Liu, N., Yin, Panpan, Yuan X. and Jiang J., 2014. Fire Whirl due to Interaction between Line Fire and Cross Wind. Fire Safety Science 11: 1420-1429. 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.11-1420


During the wildland fire of Brazil in 2010 ( tornado-Whirling-column-flames-sweeps-burning-fields.html), a special fire whirl occurred over a narrow but long fire front and moved due to the wind effect. This paper presents an elementary study on such a moving fire whirl by conducting line fire experiments with cross wind. Experimental analysis indicates that a line fire near the ground, a reasonable attack angle between the line fire and the cross wind, and wind speed within a critical range are the three essential conditions for the formation of fire whirl in a line fire. By examining the advection and bending of vorticity, it is also deduced that the concentrated vortex of fire whirl results from the coupling of the line fire plume and the horizontal vortex line near the ground surface. By assuming the solid-body rotation of fire whirl flame, a possible mechanism of moving fire whirl is proposed, which states that the flame moving is mainly controlled by the drag force, lift force and ground friction. Accurate experimental measurements are needed to testify or verify this mechanism in the future work.


concentrated vortex, cross wind, line fire, moving fire whirl

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