Head fire

n. A segment of a fire perimeter oriented in the direction of maximum spread.

 

  • Discussion

 

Most wildland fires have a single head, but some fires -- especially those in complex terrain -- may develop multiple heads. That is, there may be several distinct places on a fire perimeter where the flaming front is oriented in the direction of maximum spread. Even small deviations of flaming front orientation from the direction of maximum spread quickly reduce rate of spread and fireline intensity.