Coupled atmosphere-wildland fire modeling with WRF 3.3 and SFIRE 2011 1Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO, USA
Model Description Paper
07 Jul 2011
2Department of Meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Received: 05 February 2011 – Published in Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.: 09 March 2011 Abstract. We describe the physical model, numerical algorithms, and software structure of a model consisting of
the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, coupled with the fire-spread model (SFIRE) module.
In every time step, the fire model inputs the surface wind, which drives the fire, and outputs the heat flux from the fire into the
atmosphere, which in turn influences the atmosphere. SFIRE is implemented by the level set method, which allows
a submesh representation of the burning region and a flexible implementation of
various kinds of ignition. The coupled model is capable of running on a cluster
faster than real time even with fine resolution in dekameters. It is available as a part of the
Open Wildland Fire Modeling (OpenWFM) environment at http://openwfm.org, which contains also utilities for visualization,
diagnostics, and data processing, including an extended version of the WRF Preprocessing System (WPS).
The SFIRE code with a subset of the features is distributed with WRF 3.3 as WRF-Fire.
Revised: 17 June 2011 – Accepted: 28 June 2011 – Published: 07 July 2011
Citation: Mandel, J., Beezley, J. D., and Kochanski, A. K.: Coupled atmosphere-wildland fire modeling with WRF 3.3 and SFIRE 2011, Geosci. Model Dev., 4, 591-610, doi:10.5194/gmd-4-591-2011, 2011.