Wildfire Simulation

See how wildfires randomly start, spread and destroy homes. Change the parameters and graph the results. Turn on your speakers but don't set the volume too high! Click on the illustration below to get started.
Stage fires Boeing 747

Many factors are randomized so running twice with the same parameters will give different results. Wind direction and speed, temperature and humidity determine the probability that lightning and power line arcs will start fires and that trees and homes will burn. You can change all these parameters and more through an online menu.

Stage multiple graphs countsThis simulation is written in Snap, a graphical computer language used for students from middle school to college to learn basic programming and computer science. You can see the program code and, with some knowledge of Snap, even save your own version and change the code. To view the code, click on the double arrow above the display.

All this is free! The simulation runs on the US Berkley Snap servers. Nothing downloads to your computer except the usual browser history and temporary browser files. Chrome is the recommended browser for Snap.

This is not an accurate wildfire simulation. Rather, it is an accelerated illustration of how wildfires start, spread and destroy homes. The three simulations in the graph took less than 30 seconds each. The same parameters were used for the three simulations.

Email questions and comments to Allan Thompson.

Version beta 1, 10/22/20:

  • Fireworks added as fire ignition source
  • Better sound control, thunderclaps aren't as loud
  • Parameter change menus improved
  • Cosmetic display improvements
  • Known Problems: Error may occur when parameters changed. Restart simulation if needed.

To learn more about Snap:
Snap website
About Snap
Snap Reference Manual
Basic Snap Lessons
The Beauty and Joy of Computing (AP Computer Science Principles Course). This simulation is an extension of the Disease Spread Project in Unit 5 Lab 2 with more clones and costumes. The Disease Spread lesson has good information on how Snap clones work. With these parameters, there are 91 clones (trees, homes, fire engines, Boeing 747, etc.) with program pieces running simultaneously for each clone.

Sound effects from Zapsplat.


Is this an official history of the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council?

No, this is how Judy and I remember it plus the contributions of many past and present SCFSC participants.

Can I contribute?

Yes, your comments are welcome and appreciated. Please use the Comment form at the bottom of each history page or use the Contact form.

Are we done yet?

No, there will be many more pages, photos and contributions.  Hopefully, the history of SCFSC will never be finished.

Is there a Table of Contents?

Table of Contents,
SCFSC People


Highland Associates
Allan and Judy Thompson

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