These Indoor Wildfires Help Engineers Study the Real Thing

June 28, 2016 - See researchers start their own fires to study how wildfires burn. Wildfires can be a devastating force that are hard to predict, but a team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside create these fires in their lab to understand how they burn and spread. The researchers prepare different types of forest brush and add other elements such as wind and humidity that affect fire behavior. The data collected is then used to predict how wildfires will behave under certain conditions. By working with the U.S. Forest Service, the researchers hope that their experiments will help firefighters understand and manage real fires.

Read National Geographic photographer Mark Thiessen's first-person account on working inside California's wildfires.