17: "The Technical Details of Fire" Guest: Jack Cohen
Play • 1 hr 5 min

Today on the show we speak with Dr. Jack Cohen, a Research Physical Scientist and one of the most renowned and experienced voices on the FireSmart program. We chat with Jack regarding his experience with fire, what he’s learned, and what we can learn by looking at past fires. This episode also covers how homeowners can be prepared, and the importance of FireSmart education and engagement.

Dr. Jack Cohen has been involved in wildland fire research since 1972 and was a research scientist at US Forest Service fire laboratories in Missoula, MT, Riverside, CA and Macon, GA. Dr. Cohen has been interested in understanding the wildland-urban (WU) fire problem since the 1970s, but he formally started his research on how structures ignite during wildfires in 1989. Using computational modelling, laboratory and field experiments, and WU fire disaster investigations, he found that a home and its immediate surroundings within 100 feet, called the home ignition zone (HIZ), principally determine home ignitions during extreme wildfires. 

Dr. Cohen retired from the US Forest Service in 2016 but continues his involvement in developing effective methods for preventing WU fire disasters, including research on the recent Lytton events.


Homeowners Manual: https://homeowners-manual.firesmartbc.ca/

Learn more about the Home Ignition Zone by watching this video: https://firesmartbc.ca/resource/firesmart-home-ignition-zone-assessment/

Explore the report and other resources on Lytton: https://firesmartbc.ca/lytton

Thank you to the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction for sponsoring this recent research on WU Fires. Please see their website at https://www.iclr.org/ for recent reports including Lytton. 

Learn more about FireSmart BC: https://firesmartbc.ca/

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