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Encyclopedia > Firestorm
A firestorm in Hamburg (Germany) during World War II
A firestorm in Hamburg (Germany) during World War II

A firestorm is a conflagration which attains such intensity that it creates and sustains its own wind system. It is most commonly a natural phenomenon, created during some of the largest bushfires, forest fires, and wildfires. The Great Peshtigo Fire is one example of a firestorm. Firestorms can also be deliberate effects of targeted explosives such as occurred as a result of the aerial bombings of Dresden and Tokyo during World War II. Image File history File links Firestorm due to the Bombing of hamburg in WW2 Source: [www. ... Image File history File links Firestorm due to the Bombing of hamburg in WW2 Source: [www. ... Hamburg from above Hamburgs motto: May the posterity endeavour with dignity to conserve the freedom, which the forefathers acquired. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other uses see fire (disambiguation). ... Backburning in Townsville, Australia to prevent bushfires. ... Fire in San Bernardino, California Mountains (image taken from the International Space Station) A wildfire, also known as a forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, or bushfire (in Australasia), is an uncontrolled fire in wildland often caused by lightning; other common causes are human carelessness and arson. ... Fire in San Bernardino, California Mountains (image taken from the International Space Station) A wildfire, also known as a forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, or bushfire (in Australasia), is an uncontrolled fire in wildland often caused by lightning; other common causes are human carelessness and arson. ... The Peshtigo Fire in Peshtigo, Wisconsin has the distinction of being the deadliest conflagration in US history. ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... Firebombing is a bombing technique designed to damage a target, generally an urban area, through the use of fire rather than the blast effects of large bombs. ... For other uses, see Dresden (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...

Contents

Mechanism of firestorms

A firestorm is created as a result of the "chimney effect" as the heat of the original fire draws in more and more of the surrounding air. This draft can be quickly increased if a low level jet stream exists over or near the fire, or when an atmospheric temperature inversion cap is pierced by it. As the updraft mushrooms, strong gusty winds develop around the fire,its also recidnosed with fire placement directed inward. This would seem to prevent the firestorm from spreading on the wind, but for the fact that tremendous turbulence is also created by the strong updraft which causes the strong surface inflow winds to change direction erratically. This wind shear is capable of producing small tornadoes or dust devils which can also dart around erratically, damage or destroy houses and buildings, and quickly spread the fire to areas outside the central area of the fire. Look up Chimney in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Jet streams are fast flowing, relatively narrow air currents found in the atmosphere at around 12 km above the surface of the Earth, just under the tropopause. ... Smoke rising in Lochcarron is stopped by an overlying layer of warmer air. ... Wind shear is a difference in wind speed or direction between two points in the atmosphere. ... For other uses of Tornado, see Tornado (disambiguation). ... Dust Devil Johnsonville, South Carolina A dust devil is a rotating updraft, 1000 meters or more high and tens of meters in diameter. ...


The greater draft of a firestorm draws in greater quantities of oxygen which significantly increases combustion, thereby also substantially increasing the production of heat. The intense heat of a firestorm manifests largely as radiated heat (infrared radiation) which ignites flammable material at a distance ahead of the fire itself. Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than visible light, but shorter than microwave radiation. ...


Besides the enormous ash cloud produced by a firestorm, under the right conditions, it can also induce condensation, forming a cloud called a pyrocumulus or "fire cloud". A large pyrocumulus can produce lightning, which can set off further fires. Apart from forest fires, pyrocumuluses can also be produced by volcanic eruptions. Pyrocumulus, or fire cumulus, is a dense cumuliform cloud usually found at an altitude of 1500 m. ... This article is about volcanoes in geology. ...


In Australia, the prevalence of eucalyptus trees that have oil in their leaves results in forest fires that are noted for their extremely tall and intense flame front. Hence the bush fires appear more as a fire-storm than a simple forest fire. The trees are full of oil to survive dry conditions. The oil evaporates during the day too, leaving a layer of flammable gas above the treeline. The oil fuels the fire and the fires are very difficult to bring under control, with firefighters resorting to saving buildings and lives when the hot dry days during summer encourage the occurrence of enormous fires.[citation needed]


Firestorms in wildfires

The firestorms often appear in thalwegs or crests or on plateaus. The warning signs include: Thalweg (a German word compounded from Tal, valley, and Weg, way) is a term adopted into English usage for geography. ... CREST (although written like a acronym it does not stand for anything) is the Central Securities Depository for the U.K., Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and Jersey equities and UK gilts. ... For alternate uses of the term, see Plateau (disambiguation). ...

  • Decreased visibility;
  • Decreased sound conduction;
  • Breathing difficulties (firefighters do not use SCBA on wildfires);
  • Roasting (pyrolysis) of the leaves by the radiated heat.

The plants protect themselves from the heat by two mechanisms: evapotranspiration, and emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC). In case of drought, especially when the humidity is less than 30 %, the emission of VOC is more important as evapotranspiration is drastically reduced. // SCBA redirects here. ... Simple sketch of pyrolysis chemistry Pyrolysis usually means the chemical decomposition of organic materials by heating in the absence of oxygen or any other reagents, except possibly steam. ... Evapotranspiration (ET) is the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration. ... This article describes a highly specialized aspect of its subject in the Terminology and legal definitions section. ... A drought is a period of time when there is not enough water to support agricultural, urban, human, or environmental water needs. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ...


When a fire comes nearer, the emission of VOC is increased to fight the rise of temperature; at 170 °C, the rosemary plant emits 55 times more terpene than at 50 °C. A temperature of 170 °C is considered a critical temperature, at which the emission of VOC can lead to an explosive mix with the air and thus to a flash over. Additionally, the fire itself emits pyrolysis gases that are not burnt, and that mix with the VOC; the explosive mix can be reached faster. Binomial name Rosmarinus officinalis L. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. ... Many terpenes are derived from conifer resins, here a pine. ...


The topography has a complex influence. A closed relief, such as a small valley or a dry river, concentrates the heat and thus the emission of VOC, especially for rosemary, rockrose or Aleppo Pine. Contrarily, the kermes oak emits more VOC on an open relief such as plain or plateau. It has been suggested that Geomorphometry be merged into this article or section. ... Binomial name Rosmarinus officinalis L. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. ... Species Cistus albanicus Cistus albidus Cistus chinamadensis Cistus clusii Cistus creticus Cistus crispus Cistus heterophyllus Cistus ladanifer- Gum Rockrose Cistus laurifolius Cistus libanotis Cistus monspeliensis- Montpelier Cistus Cistus munbyi Cistus osbeckiaefolius Cistus parviflorus Cistus populifolius Cistus psilosepalus Cistus salviifolius- Salvia Cistus Cistus symphytifolius Cistus varius Ref: Ellul (2002) The rockrose... Binomial name Pinus halepensis Miller The Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis) is a pine native to the Mediterranean region. ... Binomial name Quercus coccifera L. The Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera) is an oak in the turkey oak section Quercus sect. ...


Other factors that influence the occurrence of a firestorm are the natural heat, especially above 35 °C in the shadow, a humidity less than 30% and no strong wind. These conditions are met in climates such as the Mediterranean forest. The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ...


The firestorms can be classified in several types:

  • Thermal bubble: at the bottom of a small valley rich in combustible materials (plants), the combustible gas forms a bubble that cannot mix with the air because its temperature is too high; this bubble moves randomly, pushed by the wind.
  • Fire carpet: in a deep and opened small valley, the whole valley catches fire.
  • Confinement by a layer of cold air: a strong and cold wind prevents the pyrolysis gas from rising, which leads to the explosive situation.
  • Pyrolysis of the opposite slope: the fire progresses down a slope, but the radiated heat pyrolyses the plants on the facing slope, which catches fire seemingly spontaneously.
  • Bottom of a small valley: the gases accumulate in the bed of a dry river; when the fire comes, it completes the fire triangle and the bottom of the valley catches fire.

The fire triangle. ...

Firestorms in cities

The same underlying combustion physics can also apply to man-made structures such as cities.


Firestorms are thought to have been part of the mechanism of large urban fires such as the Great Fire of Rome, the Great Fire of London, the Great Fire of Chicago, and the fires resulting from the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the Great Kanto Earthquake. Firestorms were also created by the firebombing raids of World War II in Tokyo, Japan; and in the German cities of Hamburg, Dresden, Kassel, Darmstadt, Pforzheim, Braunschweig, Hildesheim and Stuttgart. (see also: firebombing of Dresden, Tokyo, Kassel, and Operation Gomorrah). According to Tacitus, the Great Fire of Rome started on the night of 19 July in the year 64, among the shops clustered around the Circus Maximus. ... Detail of painting from 1666 of the Great Fire of London by an unknown artist, depicting the fire as it would have appeared on the evening of Tuesday, 4 September from a boat in the vicinity of Tower Wharf. ... Artists rendering of the fire, by John R Chapin, originally printed in Harpers Weekly The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday October 8 to early Tuesday October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about four square miles in Chicago, Illinois. ... Arnold Genthes famous photograph of San Francisco following the earthquake, looking toward the fire on Sacramento Street The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco and the coast of northern California at 5:12 A.M. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. ... The Great Kanto Earthquake (関東大震災 Kantō daishinsai) struck the Kanto plain on the Japanese main island of Honshu at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. ... Firebombing is a bombing technique designed to damage a target, generally an urban area, through the use of fire rather than the blast effects of large bombs. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Tokyo (東京; Tōkyō, lit. ... Hamburg from above Hamburgs motto: May the posterity endeavour with dignity to conserve the freedom, which the forefathers acquired. ... For other uses, see Dresden (disambiguation). ... Kassel (until 1926 officially Cassel) is a city situated along the Fulda River in northern Hessen, Germany, one of the two sources of the Weser river . ... Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hessen in Germany. ... City Center seen from Weinsteige Road Stuttgart Palace Square - New Palace Solitude Palace The 1956 TV Tower U.S. Army Kelley Barracks Stuttgart [], located in southern Germany, is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg with a population of 591,528 (as of April 2006) in the city... The bombing of Dresden, led by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and involving the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) between February 13 and February 15, 1945, remains one of the more controversial Allied actions of World War II. Historian Frederick Taylor says: The destruction of Dresden has an... B-29 bombers were used to drop hundreds of thousands of tons of explosives onto Japanese cities during the war. ... The city of Kassel in Germany was severely bombed during World War II and more than 10,000 civilians died during these raids. ... Firestorm in Hamburg Operation Gomorrah was the military codename for a series of air raids conducted by the Royal Air Force on the city of Hamburg beginning in the end of July 1943. ...

City / Event Date of the firestorm Notes
Great Fire of London 2 September 1666 - 5 September 1666 Most of the city of London burned to the ground; death toll unknown.
Great Chicago Fire
Peshtigo Fire
8 October 1871 Hundreds killed in Chicago from 8 October to 10 October; up to 2,500 killed in Peshtigo, Wisconsin; others killed in similar fires in Holland and Manistee, Michigan.
Great Kantō earthquake 1 September 1923 140 000 dead, most of them in firestorms in Tokyo and the port city of Yokohama. Total damages amounted to 40% of the GNP of that year.
Wuppertal (Germany) 10 May 1943
Hamburg (Germany) 24 July 1943 (45,000 dead)
Remscheid (Germany) 31 July 1943
Kassel (Germany) 23 October 1943 (10,000 dead)
Kaiserslautern (Germany) 14 July 1944
Braunschweig (Germany) 15 October 1944 (2,600 dead)
Saarbrücken (Germany) 5 August 1944
Darmstadt (Germany) 11 September 1944 (12,300 dead)
Stuttgart (Germany) 12 September 1944
Heilbronn (Germany) 6 December 1944 (6,500 dead)
Ulm (Germany) 17 December 1944
Dresden (Germany) 13 February 1945 (35,000 dead)
Pforzheim (Germany) 23 February 1945 (21,260 dead)
Mainz (Germany) 27 February 1945
Tokyo (Japan) 9 March 1945 (120,000 dead)
Würzburg (Germany) 16 March 1945 (5,000 dead)
Kobe (Japan) 17 March 1945
Hildesheim (Germany) 23 March 1945
Oakland Hills Firestorm 20 October 1991 25 dead, $1.5 billion in damages

During the course of World War II, the Allies refined the technique of fire-bombing[citation needed]: the first wave of bombers would drop high explosives to expose the timbers within buildings and to rupture water mains. This was followed immediately by a wave dropping incendiary cluster bombs (early in the war phosphorus was used, though napalm came into usage by the end of the war) to start a conflagration. A third wave then followed after an interval of fifteen minutes or so, dropping fragmentation bombs; the slight delay allowing time for firefighters and their equipment to be caught in the open and destroyed, thus preventing efforts to hamper the spreading fires. The furnace-like conditions created in those firestorms resulting from the strategic bombing campaigns of World War II were often hot enough to cremate the corpses they created. Nuclear weapons can also create firestorms in urban areas. This was responsible for a large portion of the destruction at Hiroshima. Detail of painting from 1666 of the Great Fire of London by an unknown artist, depicting the fire as it would have appeared on the evening of Tuesday, 4 September from a boat in the vicinity of Tower Wharf. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Artists rendering of the fire, by John R Chapin, originally printed in Harpers Weekly The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday October 8 to early Tuesday October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about four square miles in Chicago, Illinois. ... The Peshtigo Fire in Peshtigo, Wisconsin has the distinction of being the deadliest conflagration in US history. ... Nickname: The Windy City, The Second City, Chi Town, City of the Big Shoulders, The 312, The City that Works. Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in Chicagoland and Illinois Coordinates: Country United States State Illinois County Cook & DuPage Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government... Peshtigo is a city located in Marinette County, Wisconsin. ... Holland is a city in the western region of the U.S. state of Michigan. ... River waterfront in downtown Manistee Manistee is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. ... Great Kanto Earthquake The Great Kanto Earthquake (関東大震災 Kantō daishinsai) struck the Kanto plain on the Japanese main island of Honshu at 11:58 on the morning of September 1, 1923. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For the town of Yokohama in Aomori Prefecture, see Yokohama, Aomori. ... Wuppertal university Wuppertal is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. ... Hamburg from above Hamburgs motto: May the posterity endeavour with dignity to conserve the freedom, which the forefathers acquired. ... Remscheid is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. ... Kassel (until 1926 officially Cassel) is a city situated along the Fulda River in northern Hessen, Germany, one of the two sources of the Weser river . ... This is the article about the city, for the district see Kaiserslautern (district)   is a city in southwest Germany, located in the Bundesland of Rheinland-Pfalz at the edge of the Palatine Forest (Pfälzer Wald). ... Coordinates: Time zone: CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2) Administration Country: Germany State: Lower Saxony District: Urban district City subdivisions: 20 Boroughs Lord Mayor: Gert Hoffmann (CDU) Governing parties: CDU / FDP Basic Statistics Area: 192. ... Saarbrücken [] is the capital of the Saarland Bundesland in Germany. ... Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hessen in Germany. ... City Center seen from Weinsteige Road Stuttgart Palace Square - New Palace Solitude Palace The 1956 TV Tower U.S. Army Kelley Barracks Stuttgart [], located in southern Germany, is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg with a population of 591,528 (as of April 2006) in the city... View of the Heilbronn centre of town toward the Wartberg. ... Ulm is a city in the German Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the river Danube, about 90 km south-east of Stuttgart and 140 km north-west of Munich. ... For other uses, see Dresden (disambiguation). ... Pforzheim is a town of 119,000 inhabitants in the state of Baden-Württemberg, south-west Germany at the gate to the Black Forest. ... Mainz is a city in Germany and the capital of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. ... Kobe ) is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture and a prominent port city in Japan with a population of about 1. ... â–¶ (help· info) is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany. ... The Oakland Hills Firestorm occurred on Sunday October 20, 1991. ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... hey hey you no i rock at soccer cuz no i made the school team!! yay me aka katelyn ♥ Incendiary devices or incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus. ... A US B-1 Lancer releasing its payload of cluster bombs Cluster munitions are air-dropped or ground launched shells that eject multiple small submunitions (bomblets) and that primarily hit civilians. ... General Name, Symbol, Number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ... A simulated Napalm explosion during a 2003 air show. ... For other uses see fire (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Firefighter Assist and Search Team be merged into this article or section. ... Strategic Bombing during World War II was unlike anything the world had previously witnessed. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter. ...


The author, Kurt Vonnegut, who was a prisoner of war in Dresden at the time of its fire-bombing, described some of the carnage of this incident in his novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ... Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Childrens Crusade: A Duty Dance With Death is a 1969 novel by best-selling author Kurt Vonnegut. ...


See also

Firestorm is a DC Comics superhero. ... Bitterroot National Forest wildfire A wildfire, also known as a wildland fire, forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, brush fire, peat fire (gambut in Indonesia), bushfire (in Australasia), or hill fire, is an uncontrolled fire often occurring in wildland areas, but which can also consume houses or agricultural resources. ... 2003 Canberra bushfires The Canberra bushfires of 2003 caused severe damage to the outskirts of Canberra, the Australian capital city. ... Firestorm is a 1998 film starring Howie Long as a smokejumper. ... Howard Howie Michael Long (born January 9, 1960 in Somerville, Massachusetts) played football as a defensive end, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. ... Suzy Amis Suzy Amis (born January 5, 1962 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is an American film actress and model. ... Theodore Scott Glenn (born January 26, 1941) is an American actor known for supporting roles. ... William Forsythe is an American who became known internationally for his work with the Frankfurt Ballet. ... Discovery Channel is a cable and satellite TV channel distributed by Discovery Communications that provides non-fiction programming focused on science, history and nature. ... A miniseries, in a serial storytelling medium, is a production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. ... Perfect Disaster is a 2006 Discovery Channel mini-series depicting the worst-case scenario major cities could expect imminently in the near future if hit by extreme weather. ... Heavy metal is a form of rock music characterized by aggressive, driving rhythms and highly amplified distorted guitars, generally with grandiose lyrics and virtuosic instrumentation. ... Rage is a heavy metal band from Germany, currently consisting of Peter Peavy Wagner (Bass, Vocals), Victor Smolski (Guitar), and Mike Terrana (Drums). ... Extended play (EP) is the name typically given to vinyl records or CDs which contain more than one single, but are too short to qualify as albums. ... Earth Crisis is a Straight Edge, Vegan, hardcore/metalcore band from Syracuse, New York that recorded and performed from 1992 until 2001. ... Robot Wars was a British game show broadcast on BBC Two from 1997 until 2002, with a final series broadcast on Five in 2003. ... Chaos 2. ...

Reference

  • John Fleck, "Firestorms Get New Spin", The Albuquerque Journal, May 14, 2000.[4]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Firestorm (comics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1393 words)
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