This paper presents the results of open-field scale-model experiments of fire-whirl formation over line fires. L-shaped line fires were burned in crosswinds, and the processes of fire-whirl formation were observed. The flame height was measured using an image-processing technique, while two-dimensional velocity components were measured at two different locations using ultrasonic anemometers. Two tests were selected for comparison: test A, in which intense fire whirls repeatedly formed, and test B, in which no whirls were observed. In test A, the wind flow was bent by the fire plume, creating swirling flows near the burning area, thereby forming fire whirls. On the other hand, the crosswind in test B was too fast to be affected by the fire plume. These results confirmed the existence of critical wind velocity to form intense fire whirls. The critical wind velocity, approximately 1 m/s, agreed with the scaling law on the critical wind velocity which was previously developed based on similar experiments of a smaller scale.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.