Published works

Published works

Wind speed reduction induced by post-fire vegetation regrowth

TitleWind speed reduction induced by post-fire vegetation regrowth
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsQuill, R, Moon, K, Sharples, JJ, Sidhu, LA, Duff, TJ, Tolhurst, KG
Conference NameAFAC16
Date Published08/2016
PublisherBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Conference LocationBrisbane

In the current suite of operational fire spread models, wind speeds measured in the open environment (above the vegetation layer) are modified to represent wind speeds at `mid-flame' height using adjustment factors. In general, these adjustment factors assume constant vertical wind speed profiles throughout the vegetation layer. However, empirical studies have shown that wind speeds beneath canopies can vary significantly with height above ground as well as with forest type and prevailing wind speed. Empirical wind reduction profiles have been developed for a number of different forest types in flat terrain using data collected across Victoria, Australia.

The present research aims to extend these empirical studies to better understand the impacts of topography and post-fire vegetation regrowth on the reduction of wind speeds beneath the canopy. Wind data collected over fire affected regions of rugged terrain in South Eastern Australia are used to analyse wind speed reduction induced by post-fire regrowth and complex topography. A secondary study is used to analyse wind speed reduction caused by Radiata pine plantation in undulating terrain.

Results of this study suggest that empirical wind reduction profiles perform well at the broader landscape-scale, i.e. ridge tops and valley floors. However, more complex topographical features appear to have a compounding affect on wind speed reduction within rugged terrain. Through better understanding of wind speed reduction beneath the canopy across landscapes from mountainous ranges through to flat plains, wind speed reduction models for bushfire spread prediction can be adapted to incorporate the variation observed in vertical wind speed profiles within the vegetation layer.

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