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Journal Articles Fire Year : 2023

Numerical Assessment of Safe Separation Distance in the Wildland-Urban Interfaces

Jacky Fayad
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Gilbert Accary
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Frédéric Morandini
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François-Joseph Chatelon
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Lucile Rossi
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Thierry Marcelli
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Dominique Cancellieri
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Yassine Rahib
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Antoine Pieri
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Jean-Louis Rossi
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  • PersonId : 1050121


A safe separation distance (SSD) needs to be considered during firefighting activities (fire suppression or people evacuation) against wildfires. The SSD is of critical interest for both humans and assets located in the wildland-urban interfaces (WUI). In most cases, the safety zone models and guidelines assume a flat terrain and only radiant heating. Nevertheless, injuries or damage do not result exclusively from radiant heating. Indeed, convection must be also considered as a significant contribution of heat transfer, particularly in the presence of the combined effects of sloping terrain and a high wind velocity. In this work, a critical case study is considered for the village of Sari-Solenzara in Corsica (France). This site location was selected by the operational staff since highintensity fire spread is likely to occur in the WUI during wind-blown conditions. This study was carried out for 4 m high shrubland, a sloping terrain of 12° and a wind speed of 16.6 m/s. The numerical simulations were performed using a fully physical fire model, namely, FireStar2D, to investigate a case of fire spreading, which is thought to be representative of most high wildfire risk situations in Corsica. This study is based on the evaluation of the total (radiative and convective) heat flux received by two types of targets (human bodies and buildings) located ahead of the fire front. The results obtained revealed that the radiation was the dominant heat transfer mode in the evaluation of the SSD. In addition, the predictions were consistent with the criterion established by the operational experts, which assumes that in Corsica, a minimum SSD of 50 m is required to keep an equipped firefighter without injury in a fuelbreak named ZAL. This numerical work also provides correlations relating the total heat flux to the SSD.
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Dates and versions

hal-04101026 , version 1 (19-05-2023)





Jacky Fayad, Gilbert Accary, Frédéric Morandini, François-Joseph Chatelon, Lucile Rossi, et al.. Numerical Assessment of Safe Separation Distance in the Wildland-Urban Interfaces. Fire, 2023, 6 (209), ⟨10.3390/fire6050209⟩. ⟨hal-04101026⟩
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