A data-driven fire spread simulator: validation in Vall-llobrega's Fire
/ Oriol Ríos, Mario Miguel Valero Pérez, Elsa Pastor Ferrer, Eulàlia Planas Cuchi
En: Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering
. vol. 5, n. 28 (Març 2019), p. 1-11
A Data-Driven Fire Spread Simulator: Validation in Vall-llobrega's Fire Oriol Rios, Mario Miguel Valero, Elsa Pastor and Eulàlia Planas Department of Chemical Engineering, Centre for Technological Risk Studies, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain While full-physics fire models continue to be unsuitable for wildfire emergency situations, the so-called operational fire spread simulators are incapable of providing accurate estimations of the macroscopic fire behavior while quickly reacting to a change of governing spread mechanisms. A promising approach to overcome these limitations are data-driven simulators, which assimilate observed data with the aim of improving their forecast with affordable computation times. Although preliminary results obtained by several data-driven simulators are promising, this scheme needs intensive validation. Detailed studies of the particular aspects related to data assimilation are essential to gain insight about the applicability of this approach to operational wildfire simulation. This paper presents the validation of the simulator presented in Rios et al. (2014b, 2016, 2018) with a large scenario of real complexity with intricate terrain. The study case corresponds to a wildfire of significant repercussions occurred in Catalonia in March 2014. We employed as reference data the event reconstruction performed by the Catalan Fire Service and validated with operational observations. Detailed information about fuel and meteorology was collected by the fire brigades and allowed reconstructing the fire development with Farsite, a widely employed simulator. Subsequently, our simulator was tested without a detailed description of the fuel and wind parameters, i.e., imitating its intended deployment conditions. It proved capable of automatically estimating them and correctly simulating the fire spread. Additionally, the effect of the assimilation window on the forecast accuracy was analyzed. These results showed that the simulator is able to correctly handle complex terrain and wind situations to successfully deliver a short-term fire-front forecast in those real and complex scenarios.