Mass and size distribution of firebrands generated from burning Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) trees

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Abstract

The present study reports on a series of real-scale fire experiments that were performed to determine the mass and size distribution of firebrands generated from Korean Pine (Pinus koraiensis), a common conifer species indigenous to China, Japan, and Korea. The experiments were performed at the Building Research Institute in Tsukuba, Japan. The total tree height was fixed at 4.0 m and tree moisture content was varied to examine the influence that this parameter has on the mass and size distribution of the firebrands that are produced, under ambient wind conditions. The firebrands were collected using an array of pans. The pans used for firebrand collection were filled with water. This ensured that firebrands would be quenched as soon as they made contact with the pans. The firebrands were subsequently dried and the mass and size of more than 500 firebrands were measured. The Korean pine trees were also mounted on load cells during burning to determine the temporally resolved mass loss profiles. The mass loss data were used to compare the total amount of mass collected as firebrands with the total amount of mass burned. Results of this study are presented and compared with the mass and size distribution of firebrands collected from burning Douglas-fir trees, a conifer tree species indigenous to the U.S.A. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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