1995 International Crown Fire Experiment in Northern Canada

S1.09-00 Forest Fire Reasearch

Theme: General Session
Moderator: J. G. Goldammer, R. E. Martin and B. J. Stocks

1995 International Crown Fire Experiment in Northern Canada

Stocks, Brian J., Goldammer, Johann G., Cofer III, Wesley R.

In late June and early July 1995 a series of experimental crown fires were conducted in the Canadian Northwest Territories. Sponsored jointly by the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA) and the IGBP International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project, these experimental fires brought together 30 fire researchers from Canada, the United States, Russia, and Germany. The general goal of this study was a better fundamental understanding of high-intensity crown fire behavior, through the measurement of variables that could contribute to the development of a physical model of crown fire initiation and spread.

A series of 10 replicated experimental fires were carried out in a 250 ha pure jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) stand located 50 km north of Fort Providence, NWT. This 80-year old stand, with a density of 3500 stems/ha, was considered ideal for crown fire initiation. Firelines were constructed around individual plots for control purposes, and the NWT government provided logistical and fire suppression support. Detailed measurements of prefire and postfire fuel loads were carried out on all plots. Sophisticated instrumentation was used to monitor fire spread rates, vertical temperature profiles, flame geometry, and radiation flux below, within, and above the canopy layer. Fires were documented using both infrared cameras and videotape. Trace gas and aerosol measurements were conducted in the smoke plume above each fire. This was the first cooperative international experiment dedicated to a better understanding of high-intensity fire behavior. The results will be published within the next year in a dedicated volume of the International Journal of Wildland Fire.

Key words: crown fire, fire behaviour, trace gases, aerosols.

Correspondence: Brian J. Stocks, Forest Fire Research, Great Lakes Forestry Center, Canadian Forest Service, Onatario Region, CDN-Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 5M7, Canada



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