Forest fires are of common occurrence all over the world, causing severe damages to valuable natural environment and loss of human lives. In order to reduce the damages by forest fires, it is useful to utilize a system, which can predict the occurrence of forest fires and the spread of fires. Well known is a system in USA, called NFDRS to predict forest fire occurrence and FARSITE to predict fire growth, based on the fire weather information taken from a network, combined with forest fuel conditions and land topography data, and processed by an algorithm to generate the various fire danger indices. In Japan the number of forest fires is roughly 3,000 per year, which is 1/30 times compared with USA, and there are very few fires exceeding 1000 ha burnt area, hence there has existed scant demand for this type of intelligent system. Although recently there is an increasing demand for such a system in Japan, the US system for forest-fire prediction is however not applicable to Japan, since the forest topology and weather conditions between Japan and USA are far different. Moreover, many fire weather stations have been installed in the US forests, but in Japan no such fire weather stations are installed in forests. Thus, as a first step to develop an intelligent system for Japan, we have analyzed the fundamentals of forest fire danger rating and the fire spread, based on the weather data and other information on forest fires. The objective of this study is to examine how the fundamentals, based on analyzing the past fire occurrences and CFD simulations particularly on “Katunuma Fire”, can predict the occurrence of forest fires and the spread of forest fires.

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