Transients in a Forest-Fire Simulation Model with Varying Combustion Neighbourhoods and Watercourse Firebreaks

Ken A. Hawick

Keywords

firemodel, simulation, dynamics, firebreak, transient, cycles

Abstract

Forest and bush fires are a continued hazard to lives and livestock but remain difficult to model and accurately predict. The Drossel-Schwabl Forest-fire model is investigated with various localised combustion neighbourhoods. The transient behaviour as model systems approach equilibrium is studied using bulk system metrics as well as a study of individual like-like cellular components. Periodic dynamics of fire-re-growth behaviour is identified and a link is made between the parametric ratio of tree re-growth to fire strikes and the observed periodic time-constant of the model. A firebreak cell type that blocks fire spread is introduced into the model and the effect of a fractal watercourse introduced into the system is investigated. The presence of the water-break is shown to significantly reduce initial transients and lowers the overall fire damage to the model system.

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