Research

A model has been developed that can predict forest fires 20 minutes before a fire.

Mankind has already learned pretty wellcope with small fires and even quite successfully mastered various methods of fighting fire. From extinguishing from air to the technology of "taking" oxygen, which robs the fire of the most important component of combustion and makes it die out on its own. However, in the face of the raging elements, people are still powerless. And extensive forest fires are still a huge problem. But the problem, as you know, is easier to prevent than to deal with its consequences. And precisely for this, a model was developed that could predict forest fires 20 minutes before a fire.

Forest fires are an uncontrollable force that can be predicted

How to predict a fire?

According to the publication EurikAlert, for the newThe study is from the Brigam Young University fire research lab. They were able to recognize some signs of fires and build on their basis a system for predicting fires. If you want to be aware of similar events, we recommend subscribing to our news channel in Telegram. A lot of interesting materials regularly appear there.

We worked on a "small scale", which gave ussome advantage. If similar studies were previously conducted on large forests, then we studied how heat and other conditions leading to fires affect the forest flora, ”said Thomas Fletcher, a professor at Brigham Young University. We want to make fire more predictable by conducting experiments in a well-controlled environment.

Recent forest fires in Siberia were visible even from space

For his experiments, Fletcher and his colleaguesthe leaves of 14 species of shrubs were loaded into a refractory vessel with the function of a thermogravimetric analyzer and slowly heated to 800 degrees Celsius. Observing how the leaves burn, they classified the rate at which the plant burned, and the chemicals released as a result of these processes. In addition, scientists also compared the effects of two sources of heat: convection (simulating fires propagated by wind) and thermal (arising, in fact, due to direct fire).

See also: Scientists predict drought and fires using orbiting satellites.

The study showed that the chemical compositionShrubs are of great importance in how quickly they collapse before they begin to burn. This is important to know because the type of plants growing in forests is well known. And even before the plant begins to burn, it already begins to secrete certain chemicals. These substances can be easily detected if installed in the forests where plants of a certain species are located, analyzers and sensors that are “tuned” to these plants and the chemicals they emit.

Now there are models that canto predict the development of fires for several days in advance. But data analysis with their help takes about two weeks and requires a lot of computing power. We offer an alternative. Yes, our forecasts are not so “directed towards the future”. We can give answers on how the fire will spread in the next 20 minutes. Our model can help with how to understand the behavior of fires and predict their occurrence in the short term.

Now American scientists are checking their data and in the near future they want to repeat experiments using trees and herbs growing in forests. This will make their forecasts even more accurate.