Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kozo Saito

Second Advisor

Dr. Nelson Akafuah


A challenge for fire researchers is obtaining data from those fires that are most dangerous and costly. While it is feasible to instrument test beds, test plots, and small prescribed burns for research, it is uncommon to successfully instrument an active wildland fire. With a focus on very specific facets of wildland fire, researchers have created many unique models utilizing matchsticks, cardboard, liquid fuel, excelsior, plywood, live fuels, dead fuels, and wood cribs of different packing densities. Such scale models, however, only serve as valid substitutes for the full-scale system when all functional relations of the scale model are made similar to corresponding relations of the original phenomena. The field of study of large wildland fires therefore was in need of a framework that researchers could use to relate the results from many previous experiments to full-scale wildland fires; this framework was developed during the research for this dissertation. This further work developing laws for instability scaling in wildland settings was founded on the established work in dynamic similitude of G.I. Taylor, H. C. Hottel, F. A. Williams, R. I. Emori, K. Saito and Y. Iguchi. Additionally, in this work, a new dynamic flame parameter was incorporated into the scaling laws for fires that had not previously been assessed and proved to provide additional, important insight into flame spread. The new dynamic parameter enabled improved St-Fr correlations and was established for a wide range of fire sizes and fuel types.