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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 10 | Copyright

Special issue: Numerical wildland combustion, from the flame to the...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 2829-2845, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 31 Oct 2014

Research article | 31 Oct 2014

Recent advances and applications of WRF–SFIRE

J. Mandel1,2, S. Amram3,4, J. D. Beezley5, G. Kelman3,6, A. K. Kochanski7, V. Y. Kondratenko1, B. H. Lynn3,6, B. Regev3,4, and M. Vejmelka1,2 J. Mandel et al.
  • 1University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO, USA
  • 2Institute of Computer Science, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 3The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 4Ministry of Public Security, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 5CERFACS and Météo France, Toulouse, France
  • 6Weather It Is, LDT, Efrat, Israel
  • 7University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Abstract. Coupled atmosphere–fire models can now generate forecasts in real time, owing to recent advances in computational capabilities. WRF–SFIRE consists of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with the fire-spread model SFIRE. This paper presents new developments, which were introduced as a response to the needs of the community interested in operational testing of WRF–SFIRE. These developments include a fuel-moisture model and a fuel-moisture-data-assimilation system based on the Remote Automated Weather Stations (RAWS) observations, allowing for fire simulations across landscapes and time scales of varying fuel-moisture conditions. The paper also describes the implementation of a coupling with the atmospheric chemistry and aerosol schemes in WRF–Chem, which allows for a simulation of smoke dispersion and effects of fires on air quality. There is also a data-assimilation method, which provides the capability of starting the fire simulations from an observed fire perimeter, instead of an ignition point. Finally, an example of operational deployment in Israel, utilizing some of the new visualization and data-management tools, is presented.

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