UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Influence of Fuel Moisture Content, Packing Ratio and Wind Velocity on the Ignition Probability of Fuel Beds Composed of Mongolian Oak Leaves via Cigarette Butts Sun, Ping; Zhang, Yunlin; Sun, Long; Hu, Haiqing; Guo, Futao; Wang, Guangyu; Zhang, Heng


Cigarette butts are an important human firebrand and account for a significant amount of man-made fires. To better address forest fires caused by cigarette butts, the influencing factors governing the ignition probability of cigarette butts can be used to establish a prediction model. This study obtains the influencing factors of the ignition probability of cigarette butts in order to establish a prediction model by constructing fuel beds composed of Mongolian oak leaves with varied fuel moisture content and packing ratios. A total of 2520 ignition experiments were then conducted by dropping cigarette butts on the fuel beds to test the burning probability of the fuels under varied wind speeds. Moisture content, wind speed, and their interaction significantly influenced ignition probability. In the absence of wind, the ignition probability is zero. The maximum moisture content of Mongolian oak leaves that could be ignited by cigarette butts was 15%. A logistic model and self-built model for predicting the ignition probability were established using these results; the mean absolute error values for the two models were 2.71% and 1.13%, respectively, and the prediction error of the self-built model was lower than that of the logistic model. This is important research to mitigate the threat of forest fires due to cigarette butts given the frequent occurrence of these events.

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