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Media Spotlights

Soil Heating and Fire Effects Resulting from In Situ Oil Spill Burning

Soil heating and fire effects resulting from in situ oil spill burning

FFS Staff: James Reardon, Forester

Courtesy of: Fire, Fuels and Smoke Science Program
Duration: 00:04:12

oil spill burning video screen

The Mysterious Science of Fire

Courtesy of The Atlantic
Date: May 21, 2014 | Katherine Wells, Sam Price-Waldman
Duration: 00:08:55

FFS Staff: Jack Cohen, Mark Finney, Sara McAllister

Massive wildfires cost billions of dollars and burn millions of acres in the U.S. every year, but we know surprisingly little about the basic science of how they spread. At the Fire Lab in Missoula, Montana, researchers reverse-engineer spreading fires using wind tunnels, fire-whirl generators, and giant combustion chambers. They're finding that fire is a mysterious phenomenon, and the physics behind it is often counterintuitive.

Wildland Urban Interface Fire Problem

The Washington, D.C National Building Museum’s new exhibition, Designing for Disaster, features Research Physical Scientist Jack Cohen, Missoula, in an online video about his research focused on reducing homeowner risk in the wildland-urban interface. Jack’s post-fire field examinations and laboratory-based research on fire dynamics led to the concept of the home ignition zone, a phrase he coined. The exhibition examines how the public assess risks from natural hazards and how they can create policies, plans, and designs yielding safer, more disaster-resilient communities. This exhibit runs from May 11, 2014 — August 2, 2015.

Courtesy of: National Building Museum
Date: May 5, 2014
Duration: 00:03:39

Jack D. Cohen, Research Physical Scientist

No one has done more to define the wildland-urban interface problem and empower homeowners to reduce their risk of wildfire than Jack Cohen. His post-fire field examinations and laboratory-based research on fire dynamics led to the concept of the home ignition zone, a phrase he coined. Cohen also co-developed the U.S. National Fire Danger Rating System and contributed to the U.S. fire behavior prediction systems.

RMRS Fire Scientists Featured in New York Times

The New York Times Sunday Magazine’s September 22 issue prominently featured Research Forester Mark Finney and Research Physical Scientist Jack Cohen, Missoula. The cover story, Into the Wildfire, focuses on their studies and experiments to find out how fire burns. They found fire does not burn the way researchers previously thought, nor does it burn the way reflected in the current fire behavior models. The author and scientists discussed the potential uses for this new information and its possible implications for the Wildland Urban Interface. The article includes extraordinary photographs.

Photo: view of wind tunnel