Comprendre les grands feux de forêt pour lutter en sécurité

Abstract : Despite the large expenditure that is dedicated to forest fire suppression in Euro-Mediterranean countries, Australia and North-America, firefighters still face large and severe fire events which eventually entrap them. Investigation of Fire Services’ internal reports addresses here the weather and terrain leading to these dangerous fires. In France, strong wind is the main driver of the largest fires and of the fires that entrap firefighters. However, high temperature is also a key contributor as it influences violent fires with high rates of surface spread. In Australia, a lot of firefighters’ entrapments are due to shifts in wind direction, but others are associated to strong winds in rugged terrain. Whatever the regional specificities, more than 100 firefighters’ entrapments across the world were investigated to find the contribution of dynamic fire behaviors in these entrapments. The results return three different types of fires. During topography-influenced fires, in mountainous area, almost all the entrapments happen on slopes steeper than 20°, prone to flame attachment. During wind-driven fires, leeward slopes prone to vorticity-driven lateral fire spread are the most prominent configurations associated with entrapments. Finally, during convective fires, which are the most violent, entrapments can happen far away from any dangerous configuration. Firefighters should adjust their training courses and promote fire behavior analysts (FBAN) capabilities to benefit from the results of this work and improve their safety. FBAN may consider feedbacks from previous fires to suggest the most efficient and secure firefighting strategies and locations.
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Sébastien Lahaye. Comprendre les grands feux de forêt pour lutter en sécurité. Autre. PSL Research University, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PSLEP042⟩. ⟨tel-02152356⟩

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