Flame length

n. Flame length is the distance from the ground at the leading edge of the flame to tip of the flame.  


  • Discussion


Flame length is referenced to the leading edge mainly because it then follows the streamlines in the flame.  It has also been defined alternatively as the cord length from the tip of the flame to a point along the base of the flame midway between the leading and trailing edge. The former is the preferred definition.




Regardless of which definition is followed, it is critical to specify which definition is being used in relation to data that have been collected; likewise, it is also critical to verify which definition is being used in relation to data received from others. See Anderson and others (2006) for further discussion.



  • Units


    Preferred units for flame length are m in technical reports and papers. Fire Management in the United States still uses the English units ft. See the following flame length units conversion table for conversion factors.


  • See Also

  • References

    • Anderson, W.; Pastor, E.; Butler, B.; Catchpole, E.; Dupuy, J.; Fernades, P.; Guijarro., M.; Mendes-Lopes, J.; Ventura, J. 2006. Evaluating models to estimate flame characteristics for free-burning fires using laboratory and field data: Proceedings 5th Intl. Conf. on For. Fire Res., Viegas, D.X., ed. 2006 November 27-30; Figueira daFoz, Portugal, University of Coimbra.  In: Elsevier, Forest Ecology and Management 234 Supplement 1 (2006).


  • Notes

    • Author 

      Bret Butler, Mechanical Engineer

      Rocky Mountain Research Station