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Isaac C. Grenfell

Mathematical Statistician

5775 US West Highway 10
Missoula, MT 59808
Contact Isaac C. Grenfell

Current Research

I am working on a method to simulate gridded spatial and temporally correlated fire weather for future use in such fire management tools as WFDSS, FPA, and FSIM. Another problem that I am working on is analyzing the data generated by the deep fuel experiments and processing it in a way that it can be used by others.


  • University of Montana, Missoula, B.A., Mathematics, 2002
  • University of Montana, Missoula, M.A., Mathematics, 2004
  • Publications

    Thompson, Matthew P.; Haas, Jessica R.; Finney, Mark A.; Calkin, Dave E.; Hand, Michael; Browne, Mark J.; Halek, Martin; Short, Karen C.; Grenfell, Isaac C., 2015. Development and application of a probabilistic method for wildfire suppression cost modeling
    Riley, Karin; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Finney, Mark A.; Crookston, Nicholas L., 2014. Utilizing random forests imputation of forest plot data for landscape-level wildfire analyses
    Finney, Mark A.; Forthofer, Jason M.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Adam, Brittany A.; Akafuah, Nelson K.; Saito, Kozo, 2013. A study of flame spread in engineered cardboard fuelbeds: Part I: Correlations and observations
    Riley, Karin; Abatzoglou, John T.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Klene, Anna E.; Heinsch, Faith Ann, 2013. The relationship of large fire occurrence with drought and fire danger indices in the western USA, 1984-2008: The role of temporal scale
    McAllister, Sara S.; Grenfell, Isaac C.; Hadlow, A.; Jolly, William M.; Finney, Mark A.; , 2012. Piloted ignition of live forest fuels
    Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists have developed a simulation system designed to estimate wildfire risk for Fire Planning Units (FPUs) across the conterminous United States. This research demonstrates a practical approach to using fire simulations at very broad scales for operational planning and ecological research. Findings are being used in national wildfire decision support applications such as the Forest Service and Department of Interior Hazardous Fuel Prioritization and Allocation System, and to create national maps of wildfire potential. 
    The RMRS Wildfire Risk Management Team has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of national fire and vegetation datasets that are foundational to U.S. wildfire risk science. The assessment of contemporary wildfire hazard--a fundamental part of the risk assessment framework--is not possible without a reliable source of historical fire-occurrence data.
    Current operational fire behavior models are empirically based on fire spread through surface fuels and do not describe heating and combustion processes. RMRS Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program scientists and collaborators have developed a research program for understanding how fire spread occurs with a focus on live fuels and active crown fire.

    RMRS Science Program Areas: 
    Fire, Fuel and Smoke