Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 104, Issue 3, pp 1005–1015 | Cite as

Determination of fireline intensity by oxygen consumption calorimetry

  • Paul-Antoine Santoni
  • Frédéric Morandini
  • Toussaint Barboni


Fireline intensity is one of the most relevant quantities used in forest fire science. It helps to evaluate the effects of fuel treatment on fire behavior, to establish limits for prescribed burning. It is also used as a quantitative basis to support fire suppression activities. However, its measurement is particularly tricky for different reasons: difficulty in measuring the weight of the fuel consumed in the active fire front, difficulty to evaluate the rate of spread of the fire front, and uncertainty on combustion efficiency. In this study, an innovative and original approach to directly measure the fireline intensity at laboratory scale is proposed. Based on the oxygen consumption calorimetry principle, this methodology is applied here in case of spreading fires, for the first time. It allows for directly measuring the heat released by the fire front. The results are then used to test the famous Byram’s formulation that is generally applied to determine the fireline intensity. Combustion efficiency and effective heat of combustion results are provided. The uncertainty and the use of a full scale calorimeter instead of a bench scale calorimeter for this study are discussed.


Oxygen consumption calorimetry Heat release rate Byram’s intensity Combustion efficiency 



Avena fatua


Fire Testing Technology Ltd®


Genista salzmannii


Heat release rate


Large scale heat release rate calorimeter


Oxygen consumption


Pinus pinaster



This study was carried out within the scope of project PROTERINA-C supported by the EU under the Thematic 3 of the Operational Program Italia/France Maritime 2007–2013, contract (#G25I08000120007).


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul-Antoine Santoni
    • 1
  • Frédéric Morandini
    • 1
  • Toussaint Barboni
    • 1
  1. 1.SPE UMR 6134 CNRSUniversity of CorsicaCorteFrance

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