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General learning outcome:


Specific learning outcome:

Vertical air flow and the vertical structure of the atmosphere are important for escalated fire.


Field detection of vertical air flow.

Operational Awareness for Advanced Firefighters & Fire Behaviour Analysts

Established fire training refers to stability and compares smoke plumes under stable and unstable conditions. This vertical flow is induced by the heat from the fire, and is clearly seen. However additional intelligence can be gathered from the details of plume structure, and new terms have been introduced to allow reporting of these details. For example, a report of a high cauliform towering pyro-Cu clearly indicates the potential for development of a pyro-Cb.
Other forms of vertical air flow can be detected. As examples, foehn winds may produce foehn arches, foehn walls and foehn gaps, and mountain wind waves may produce standing altocumulus lenticularis clouds.
This website is dedicated to bringing forward the latest research findings. They are provided to allow firefighters to be made aware of critical safety issues ahead of the material being included in the national training curriculum.
Material prepared by Rick McRae for AFAC Research Dissemination Pilot Study, March 2012.