Islands' Sounder


Learn how to protect your home during a wildfire

July 26, 2013 · Updated 1:53 PM

Jack Cohen, a Research Physical Scientist from the Fire Sciences Laboratory. / Contributed photo

On Thursday, August 8, at 6 p.m. at the Eastsound fire station there will be a presentation with special guest Jack Cohen, a research physical scientist from the Fire Sciences Laboratory, for an exciting lecture – complete with video clips of actual wildfires – on what you can do around your home and property to prevent a destructive wildfire.

For nearly two decades, Cohen, with the USDA Forest Service, has studied the physics of wildfire in order to understand how fire behaves. In doing so, he has helped dispel many myths that cloud our understanding of fire and inhibit our ability to protect ourselves. Cohen was a co-developer of the U.S. National Fire Danger Rating System and contributed to the development of U.S. fire behavior prediction systems. He was one of the principal scientists who participated in the International Crown Fire Modeling Experiment, Northwest Territories, Canada from 1997-2001. During that time, he investigated the thermal characteristics of crown fire related to structure ignition.

Cohen has spoken at fire conferences in the United States, Greece, Spain, Canada, Australia, and in many other locations. He is an international authority on the causes of structural ignition during wildfire – a topic of great interest to San Juan Islanders. He played a major role in creating the FireWise Communities/USA program that now recognizes nearly 1,000 small communities across the country, two of which are here on Orcas Island.


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