Jason Forthofer is a Mechanical Engineer at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory. Jason’s research involves numerical, field and laboratory studies of heat transfer and fluid flow relating to wildland fires. He is the technical developer of WindWizard and technical developer/ programmer of WindNinja. Other past work includes safety zone size guidelines, development of fire whirl training material, fire shelter design (while at the Missoula Technology and Development Center), and development and deployment of fire behavior field measuring devices. He is currently working to develop a new fire spread model. His fire qualifications include Division Supervisor and Fire Behavior Analyst trainee.
In the media:
Creating a fire tornado: Montana lab seeks to unlock the mysteries of wildfire
Selected Publications & Products
Forthofer JM, Goodrick SL (2011) Review of vortices in wildland fire. J Combust 2011:1–14. doi:10.1155/2011/984363
Werth, Paul A.; Potter, Brian E.; Alexander, Martin E.; Clements, Craig B.; Cruz, Miguel G.; Finney, Mark A.; Forthofer, Jason M.; Goodrick, Scott L.; Hoffman, Chad; Jolly, W. Matt; McAllister, Sara S.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Parsons, Russell A. 2016. Synthesis of knowledge of extreme fire behavior: volume 2 for fire behavior specialists, researchers, and meteorologists. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-891. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 258 p.
Forthofer Jason M., Butler Bret W., Wagenbrenner Natalie S. (2014) A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine-scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management. Part I. Model formulation and comparison against measurements. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23, 969-981.
Forthofer Jason M., Butler Bret W., McHugh Charles W., Finney Mark A., Bradshaw Larry S., Stratton Richard D., Shannon Kyle S., Wagenbrenner Natalie S. (2014) A comparison of three approaches for simulating fine-scale surface winds in support of wildland fire management. Part II. An exploratory study of the effect of simulated winds on fire growth simulations. International Journal of Wildland Fire 23, 982-994.
Finney MA, Cohen JD, Forthofer JM, McAllister SS, Gollner MJ, Gorham DJ, Saito K, Akafuah NK, Adam BA, English JD (2015) Role of buoyant flame dynamics in wildfire spread. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(32), 9833–9838. doi:10.1073/PNAS.1504498112
Butler, B.; Forthofer, J.; Finney, M.; McHugh, C.; Stratton, R.; Bradshaw, L. 2006a. The impact of high resolution wind field simulations on the accuracy of fire growth predictions. In: 5th International Conference on Forest Fire Research. Figueira da Foz, Portugal. 2006 November 27-30.
Butler, B. W.; Finney, M. A.; Bradshaw, L.; Forthofer, J. M.; McHugh C.; Stratton, R. D.; Jimenez, D. 2006b. WindWizard: A new tool for fire management decision support. In: Andrews, Patricia L.; Butler, Bret W., comps. 2006. Fuels Management-How to Measure Success: Conference Proceedings. 28-30 March 2006; Portland, OR. Proceedings RMRS-P-41. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 787-796.
Butler, B. W.; Forthofer, J. M. 2002. Get Into the Zone. Wildfire September/October
Butler B. W.; Forthofer, J. M.; Finney, M. A.; Bradshaw, L. 2004. High resolution wind direction and speed information for support of fire operations. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 595-602.
Cruz, M. G.; Butler, B. W.; Alexander, M. E.; Forthofer, J. M.; Wakimoto, R. H. 2006. Predicting the ignition of crown fuels above a spreading surface fire, Part 1. Model idealization. International Journal of Wildland Fire 15:47-60.
Forthofer, J. M. 2007. Modeling wind in complex terrain for use in fire spread prediction. Thesis. Colorado State University. p. 123.
Forthofer, J. M.; Butler, B. W. 2007. Differences in simulated fire spread over Askervein Hill using two advanced wind models and a traditional uniform wind field. In: Butler, Bret W.; Cook, Wayne, comps. The fire environment--innovations, management, and policy; conference proceedings. 26-30 March 2007; Destin, FL. Proceedings RMRS-P-46CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. CD-ROM. p. 123-127.
Forthofer, J. M.; Butler, B. W.; Shannon, K. S.; Finney, M. A.; Bradshaw, L.; Stratton, R. E. 2003. Predicting surface winds in complex terrain for use in fire growth models. Second International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress and Fifth Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology. 2003 November 16-20. Orlando, FL. Boston, MA: American Meteorological Society. p. 147.
Yedinak, K. M.; Forthofer, J. M.; Cohen, J. D.; Finney, M. A. 2006. Analysis of the profile of an open flame from a vertical fuel source. In: 5th International Conference on Forest Fire Research. Figueira da Foz, Portugal. 2006 November 27-30.
Forthofer, J. M. 2007. Modeling wind in complex terrain for use in fire spread prediction. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, Thesis. (528 KB; 123 pages) [ Forthofer 2007 ]