Pile burning of cutting debris in stands of hazel (Corylus avellana): An experimental study of smouldering combustion towards the validation of a burning protocol
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Smouldering combustion in burning piles was experimentally investigated by studying temperature changes in six piles of 2 m of diameter of cutting debris of hazel (Corylus avellana) for three days after extinction. The piles were monitored using an IR camera and K-type thermocouples. The experiment was designed in order to study how the maximum temperature of the charcoal might be influenced by the individual and interaction effects of both the quality of extinction and the elapsed time until the start of extinction of the piles. The piles that were properly extinguished (i.e. using a high-pressure, homogeneously distributed water flow of 50 l/min for 4 min) had a uniform temperature profile and did not have significant hot spots. The temperature reached equilibrium with the environment in less than 10 h after extinction. In contrast, a smouldering front moved throughout the poorly extinguished piles, which had a wide temperature distribution and hot spots of up to 700 °C. A simulation of windy conditions after three days of experiments on a poorly extinguished pile showed that the reactivation of charcoal combustion was possible. It gave a high-risk scenario to cause a wildfire, with hot smouldering embers being transported by wind flow. The results are of interest to improve pile burning protocols so that the number of wildfires caused by such practices may be reduced.
CitationPastor, E. [et al.]. Pile burning of cutting debris in stands of hazel (Corylus avellana): An experimental study of smouldering combustion towards the validation of a burning protocol. "Fire safety journal", Gener 2010, vol. 45, núm. 1, p. 69-81.