# Fire

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### 1 collaborator

Coram Bryant (Author)

### Tags

ecology

Tagged by Tim Denton over 12 years ago

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Model was written in NetLogo 4.1 • Viewed 1586 times • Downloaded 55 times • Run 4 times
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### WHAT IS IT?

This project simulates the spread of a fire through a forest. It shows that the fire's chance of reaching the right edge of the forest depends critically on the density of trees. This is an example of a common feature of complex systems, the presence of a non-linear threshold or critical parameter.

### HOW IT WORKS

The fire starts on the left edge of the forest, and spreads to neighboring trees. The fire spreads in four directions: north, east, south, and west.

The model assumes there is no wind. So, the fire must have trees along its path in order to advance. That is, the fire cannot skip over an unwooded area (patch), so such a patch blocks the fire's motion in that direction.

### HOW TO USE IT

Click the SETUP button to set up the trees (green) and fire (red on the left-hand side).

Click the GO button to start the simulation.

The DENSITY slider controls the density of trees in the forest. (Note: Changes in the DENSITY slider do not take effect until the next SETUP.)

### THINGS TO NOTICE

When you run the model, how much of the forest burns. If you run it again with the same settings, do the same trees burn? How similar is the burn from run to run?

Each turtle that represents a piece of the fire is born and then dies without ever moving. If the fire is made of turtles but no turtles are moving, what does it mean to say that the fire moves? This is an example of different levels in a system: at the level of the individual turtles, there is no motion, but at the level of the turtles collectively over time, the fire moves.

### THINGS TO TRY

Set the density of trees to 55%. At this setting, there is virtually no chance that the fire will reach the right edge of the forest. Set the density of trees to 70%. At this setting, it is almost certain that the fire will reach the right edge. There is a sharp transition around 59% density. At 59% density, the fire has a 50/50 chance of reaching the right edge.

Try setting up and running a BehaviorSpace experiment (see Tools menu) to analyze the percent burned at different tree density levels.

### EXTENDING THE MODEL

What if the fire could spread in eight directions (including diagonals)? To do that, use "neighbors" instead of "neighbors4". How would that change the fire's chances of reaching the right edge? In this model, what "critical density" of trees is needed for the fire to propagate?

Add wind to the model so that the fire can "jump" greater distances in certain directions.

### NETLOGO FEATURES

Unburned trees are represented by green patches; burning trees are represented by turtles. Two breeds of turtles are used, "fires" and "embers". When a tree catches fire, a new fire turtle is created; a fire turns into an ember on the next turn. Notice how the program gradually darkens the color of embers to achieve the visual effect of burning out.

The "neighbors4" primitive is used to spread the fire.

You could also write the model without turtles by just having the patches spread the fire, and doing it that way makes the code a little simpler. Written that way, the model would run much slower, since all of the patches would always be active. By using turtles, it's much easier to restrict the model's activity to just the area around the leading edge of the fire.

See the "CA 1D Rule 30" and "CA 1D Rule 30 Turtle" for an example of a model written both with and without turtles.

### RELATED MODELS

Percolation, Rumor Mill

### HOW TO CITE

If you mention this model in an academic publication, we ask that you include these citations for the model itself and for the NetLogo software:

- Wilensky, U. (1997). NetLogo Fire model. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/Fire. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

- Wilensky, U. (1999). NetLogo. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

In other publications, please use:

- Copyright 1997 Uri Wilensky. All rights reserved. See http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/Fire for terms of use.

### COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Copyright 1997 Uri Wilensky. All rights reserved.

Permission to use, modify or redistribute this model is hereby granted, provided that both of the following requirements are followed:

a) this copyright notice is included.

b) this model will not be redistributed for profit without permission from Uri Wilensky. Contact Uri Wilensky for appropriate licenses for redistribution for profit.

This model was created as part of the project: CONNECTED MATHEMATICS: MAKING SENSE OF COMPLEX PHENOMENA THROUGH BUILDING OBJECT-BASED PARALLEL MODELS (OBPML). The project gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation (Applications of Advanced Technologies Program) -- grant numbers RED #9552950 and REC #9632612.

This model was developed at the MIT Media Lab using CM StarLogo. See Resnick, M. (1994) "Turtles, Termites and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds." Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Adapted to StarLogoT, 1997, as part of the Connected Mathematics Project.

This model was converted to NetLogo as part of the projects: PARTICIPATORY SIMULATIONS: NETWORK-BASED DESIGN FOR SYSTEMS LEARNING IN CLASSROOMS and/or INTEGRATED SIMULATION AND MODELING ENVIRONMENT. The project gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation (REPP & ROLE programs) -- grant numbers REC #9814682 and REC-0126227. Converted from StarLogoT to NetLogo, 2001.

## Comments and Questions

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```globals [
initial-trees          ;; how many trees (green patches) we started with
burned-trees           ;; how many have burned so far
fire-break-orientation ;; the orientation of upcoming fire-breaks
]

breed [fires fire]    ;; bright red turtles -- the leading edge of the fire
breed [embers ember]  ;; turtles gradually fading from red to near black

to setup
clear-all
set-default-shape turtles "square"
;; make some green trees
ask patches with [(random-float 100) < forest-density]
[ set pcolor green ]

;; make a column of burning trees
;ask patches with [pxcor = min-pxcor]
;  [ ignite ]

;; only ignite the center patch
ask patch 0 0 [ignite]

;; set tree counts
set initial-trees count patches with [pcolor = green]
set burned-trees 0
set fire-break-orientation 180
end

to go
fire-break
if not any? turtles  ;; either fires or embers
[ stop ]
consume
fade-embers
tick
end

to forty-five
set fire-break-orientation 45
end

to horiz
set fire-break-orientation 90
end

to neg-forty-five
set fire-break-orientation 135
end

to vert
set fire-break-orientation 180
end

; Creates a fire-break, 30 units long and fire-break-width units wide
; If the wind is blowing, the fire-breaks is automatically built
; orthoganal to the wind.  Otherwise, it is build in the direction specified
; via the user interface buttons.

to fire-break
if mouse-inside? and mouse-down?
[
if wind-strength > 0
[
set fire-break-orientation wind-direction + 90
]

let width-rpt fire-break-width
print width-rpt
let length-rpt 30

let start-patch patch mouse-xcor mouse-ycor
repeat width-rpt
[
let l 0
repeat length-rpt
[
if is-patch? start-patch
[
ask start-patch
[let next-p patch-at-heading-and-distance fire-break-orientation l
if is-patch? next-p [ask next-p [ set pcolor red - 4]]
]
]
set l (l + 1)
]

if is-patch? start-patch
[
ask start-patch [set start-patch patch-at-heading-and-distance (fire-break-orientation - 90) 1]
]
]
]
end

to consume
ask fires
[
; if there is wind, blow an ember in the direction of the
; wind, according to the strength
ifelse wind-strength > 0
[
; get the direction, taking into account variability
let dir (wind-direction + (((random wind-direction-variability) * 2) - wind-direction-variability))

; get the wind strength, taking into account variability
let str (wind-strength + (random gust-strength))

; Verify that we are landing the ember on a valid patch
; If so, ignite it
let p patch-at-heading-and-distance dir str
if is-patch? p
[
ask p [ if pcolor = green [ ignite ]]
]

; burn local forest, taking into account wind direction
let dir-min wind-direction - (45 - random 10) ;
;if dir-min < 0 [set dir-min 360 + dir-min]
let dir-max wind-direction + (45 + random 10);
if dir-max > 360 [
set dir-max dir-max - 360
Set dir-min dir-min - 360
]
ask neighbors with [pcolor = green]
[
; if this patch is within our direction window, then burn it
let corrected-dir towards myself
ifelse corrected-dir >= 180
[ set corrected-dir corrected-dir - 180 ]
[ set corrected-dir corrected-dir + 180 ]

if (corrected-dir >= dir-min) and (corrected-dir <= dir-max) [ignite]
]
]
[
; burn local forest, in all directions if there is no wind
ask neighbors4 with [pcolor = green] [ ignite ]
]

set breed embers
]
end

;; creates the fire turtles

to ignite  ;; patch procedure
sprout-fires 1
[ set color red ]
set pcolor black
set burned-trees burned-trees + 1
end

;; achieve fading color effect for the fire as it burns

to fade-embers
ask embers
[ set color color - 0.3  ;; make red darker
if color < red - 3.5     ;; are we almost at black?
[ set pcolor color
die ] ]
end

; Copyright 1997 Uri Wilensky. All rights reserved.
; The full copyright notice is in the Information tab.
```

There is only one version of this model, created almost 14 years ago by Coram Bryant.

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