Large-scale urban and forest fires, especially earthquake-induced fires may produce huge fire whirls and cause serious damage, due to the involved tornado-like strong wind, together with radiation and swirling flame. If fire whirls are generated, the danger to firefighters increases extremely. Many small-scale experiments and CFD simulations on fire whirls have already been conducted and also our previous numerical studies examined the generation of a large fire whirl in an oil tank. However, details of large-scale fire whirls have not been clarified yet. In this study, developing the previous works, additional CFD simulations are conducted to examine the generation process and particularly the stability of fire whirls. Three schemes to generate fire whirls are employed, using the 15 × 15 PMMA fuel array in windy conditions and n-heptane burning in a steel pan placed centrally on the floor in a tall channel with staggered four corner gaps, also using a channel with a single corner gap. The numerical results showed that the relationship between the fire area and the wind blowing area is important on the fire whirl generation in the PMMA scheme and n-heptane fire burning scheme in a channel. In addition to the channel gap size to produce a maximum fire whirl, the effects of channel height and horizontal channel area upon the fire whirl are examined. The wall temperatures of the channel are important to keep the swirling motion stably, particularly the wall temperature at about 300°C can stabilize the fire whirl in a channel. Also multiple small fires placed surrounding the central swirling fire can increase the stability of the fire whirl, although too strong multiple fires may destroy the stability. These phenomena may be related to the real fire whirl generation in the natural environment.

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