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Natural ComplexityA Modeling Handbook$
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Paul Charbonneau

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176840.001.0001

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Forest Fires

Forest Fires

(p.130) 6 Forest Fires
Natural Complexity

Paul Charbonneau

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how a “natural” process generates dynamically something that is conceptually similar to a percolation cluster by using the case of forest fires. It first provides an overview of the forest-fire model, which is essentially a probabilistic cellular automata, before discussing its numerical implementation using the Python code. It then describes a representative simulation showing the triggering, growth, and decay of a large fire in a representative forest-fire model simulation on a small 100 x 100 lattice. It also considers the behavior of the forest-fire model as well as its self-organized criticality and concludes with an analysis of the advantages and limitations of wildfire management. The chapter includes exercises and further computational explorations, along with a suggested list of materials for further reading.

Keywords:   percolation, forest fires, cellular automata, Python code, growth, lattice, self-organized criticality, wildfire management

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