Forest Fire

Model Description

A turtle model to the spread of forest fires

Original Rules

1) If a tree catches fire, it spreads the fire to any adjacent tree to its north, south, east, or west

Additional Rules

1) Allow fire to spread in any of 8 directions (instead of 4)


  • Question: is there a critical density needed for the fire to spread? 59%
  • At extreme densities, fire spreads all the way (99%) or stops immediately (1%)
  • With fire in 8 directions, critical density is 41%



  • The actual study of forest fires
  • Percolation theory: making a pot of coffee, the flow of oil through rocks or electricity through networks of resistors
  • How messages (rumors, fads) spread through culture


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