US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Sara S. Mcallister

Research Mechanical Engineer
Missoula, MT
Phone: 406-329-4907
Contact Sara S. Mcallister

Current Research

My current research has focused on understading the ignition behavior of woody material, including ignition criteria and the effect of fuel and environment variables.

Research Interests

My research interests include understanding fundamental combustion and heat transfer processes related to the spread of wildfires.

Past Research

This research is important because new models and understanding of fire spread cannot be attained without a clearer picture of the underlying processes. In particular, these fundamentals are vital to understand and predict crown fire behavior. Crown fires can be both dangerous and damaging, and no satisfactory tool exists to explain and predict them. A better understanding of crown fires can thus benefit everyone at all levels in the wildfire community.

Why This Research is Important

In the past, I've examined the ignition criteria of wood for variations with external heat flux, oxidizer flow velocity, and moisture content. I have also examined the effect of ambient pressure and oxygen concentration on the ignition behavior of polymers.


  • University of Nevada, Reno, BS Mechanical Engineering, 2004
  • University of California, Berkeley, MS Mechanical Engineering, 2006
  • University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, 2008


Last updated on : 03/25/2015