Reading the Fire 14

Developing and maintaining proficiency in reading the Fire using the B-SAHF (Building, Smoke, Air Track, Heat, and Flame) organizing scheme for fire behavior indicators, requires practice. This post provides an opportunity to exercise your skills using a video segment shot during a commercial fire.

Commercial Fire

This post examines fire development during a fire in an agricultural facility in Spain. First arriving firefighters observed a small amount of light gray smoke issuing from roof ventilators and doorways with low velocity.

Download and the B-SAHF Worksheet.

Watch the first 50 seconds (0:50) of the video. First, describe what you observe in terms of the Building, Smoke, Air Track, Heat, and Flame Indicators; then answer the following five standard questions?

  1. What additional information would you like to have? How could you obtain it?
  2. What stage(s) of development is the fire likely to be in (incipient, growth, fully developed, or decay)?
  3. What burning regime is the fire in (fuel controlled or ventilation controlled)?
  4. What conditions would you expect to find inside this building?
  5. How would you expect the fire to develop over the next two to three minutes

Now watch the next 20 seconds (1:10) of the video clip and answer the following questions:

  1. Did fire conditions progress as you anticipated?
  2. What changes in the B-SAHF indicators did you observe?
  3. How do you think that the stage(s) of fire development and burning regime will change over the next few minutes?
  4. What conditions would you expect to find inside this building now?
  5. How would you expect the fire to develop over the next two to three minutes

    Watch the remainder of the video. If you were the Incident Commander and had crews working inside the building, what information would you communicate to them as conditions change?

    Reading the Fire

    See the following posts for more information on reading the fire:

    Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFIreE, CFO

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