Forest Fire Simulation

The following simulation is a running cellular automaton on a grid using the Von Neumann neighborhood. A cell is either (1) empty (highlighted in brown), (2) occupied by a tree (highlighted in green) or burning (highlighted in red). I implemented the model proposed by Drossl and Schwabl (Drossel & Schwabl, 1992):

  1. A burning cell turns into an empty cell
  2. A tree will burn if at least one neighbor is burning
  3. A tree ignites with probability \(\gamma\) even if no neighbor is burning
  4. An empty space fills with a tree with probability \(\alpha\)

In this example I use \(\gamma = 5.0 \cdot 10^{-6}\) and \(\alpha = 0.01\) and \(150 \times 150\) cells.


  1. Drossel, B., & Schwabl, F. (1992). Self-organized critical forest-fire model. Phys. Rev. Lett., 69(11), 1629–1632.