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California Fire Science Seminar Series 

Physics-Based Modeling of Fire Spread in Densely-Built Urban Areas – Some Implications to the Modeling of Fire Spread in WUI Fires

Date: February 6, 2024, 2pm PST

Abstract: Urban fires pose a persistent hazard in Japanese urban areas. To address this, various fire spread models have been developed, with many relying on empirical formulations. However, to enhance model generality, a shift towards physics-based formulations is explored. Yet, computational methods like CFD, grounded in fundamental physics equations, are computationally demanding and face limitations in large-scale applications like urban fires. This necessitates the development of models effectively incorporating less computationally demanding procedures, such as engineering correlations based on experiments. In this seminar, a fire spread model developed under such constraints will be presented. While urban fires are rare outside Japan, the fire spread mechanisms in urban areas share commonalities with WUI fires. Therefore, the framework of the fire spread model for urban fires is applicable to WUI fires.

Presenter: Keisuke Himoto, Dr.Eng., is a senior researcher at the National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management in Tsukuba, Japan. His research interests cover a broad range of fire safety issues in the built environment but with a special focus on large outdoor fires. He is the developer of various fire-related computational models, including one of the first physics-based computational models for fire spread in densely built urban areas.