NIOSH Updates Software for Modeling Fire and Contaminant Spread in Mines
NIOSH announced recent updates to MFIRE, a software program for modeling fire and contaminant spread in underground mines. The program is intended for mining engineers to conduct fire emergency planning and test if ventilation controls can contain a fire. Users can also perform normal ventilation network planning and simulations of fire and contaminant spread. According to NIOSH, MFIRE can help engineers “understand where in a mine that smoke and toxic gases could spread, whether designated mine escapeways could be compromised by smoke and toxic gases from the fire, and what ventilation control methods could be used to reduce the fire damage in the event of a mine fire.”
The recent updates to MFIRE were completed by researchers at NIOSH’s Pittsburgh Mining Research Division and are intended to make the software easier to adopt for all mining engineers. Agency researchers rewrote the program using the C++ operating language and restructured it so that the software contains code and data that can be used by other programs.
MFIRE was originally developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines and released in 1977 as a DOS-based program. More information about MFIRE, including a detailed list of new features, is available from the NIOSH website, where the software and its source code can be freely downloaded for Windows operating systems.