Accessible Navigation. Go to: Navigation Main Content Footer
Find us on:
Find us on twitter Find us on facebook
Announcements

Travel, Research, and Education Experience (TREE) Grant Program for Students in Wildland Fire Science and Management
Application deadline: August 15, 2013

Watch a video about the UM prescribed fire practicum's work with The Nature Conservancy in Georgia. Each wintersession, students and faculty spend three weeks restoring longleaf pine forests with prescribed fire in this three-credit experiential learning course.

Find out more about our Student Association of Fire Ecology and Management Chapter. They participate in local prescribed burns, hold monthly meetings, participate in networking events with local fire professionals, and work on other joint projects and research. Send an email to umsafem@gmail.com

Photo of Wakimoto, Ronald

Ronald Wakimoto

Professor of Forest Fire Science

Personal Summary

Dr. Ronald H. Wakimoto is Professor of Forestry at The University of Montana, Missoula. He received his B.S. in Forestry and M.S. and Ph.D. in Wildland Resource Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He began his faculty career at the University of California, Berkeley in 1976 and has been at The University of Montana since 1982 teaching and conducting research in wildland fire management. He teaches academic courses in wildland fire management, fuel management and fire ecology. Dr. Wakimoto has conducted research on the social acceptability of fuel management treatments, smoke quality and quantity from smoldering combustion, fire fighter safety, crown fire spread and the fire ecology of the Northern Mixed Prairie. In 1986 he served on a Committee of Scientists in a National Park Service review of the prescribed burning programs at Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. In 1988 and 1989 Dr. Wakimoto was one of two academics to serve as technical advisors to the National Fire Policy Review Team following the Yellowstone events. In 1997 he gave testimony on Wildfire Policy to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. In 2000 he gave testimony on the Montana fire-fuel situation to the U.S. House Natural Resources Sub-Committee on Forests and Forest Health. In 2001 he gave testimony to the same committee cncerning the implimentation of the National Fire Plan.In 2004 Dr. Wakimoto was elected a Fellow by the Society of American Foresters. 

In 2005 he became the Chair of the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences (DECS) at UM.  In 2006 Dr. Wakimoto taught a short-course on fire ecology and prescribed burning in Mongar, Bhutan.  In 2008 he returned to Bhutan to help the USFS International Programs run a workshop on disaster preparedness and fire management strategy development for the Kingdom.  In 2009 Dr. Wakimoto became a member of the Committee on Accreditation for the Society of American Foresters.  In  2010 he helped USFS International Programs teach a fire suppression train-the-trainer course in Hetauda, Nepal and then flew toThimphu, Bhutan to teach a similar course.  In 2011 Dr. Wakimoto resigned at Chair of DECS and did a 5 month sabbatical leave in Bhutan.  There he conducted multiple sessions of a basic fire fighting and fire behavior course for professional foresters from across the country.  The foresters represented every fire-prone dzongkhag in Bhutan

Education

B.S. Forestry, Univ. of California, Berkeley 1970
M.S. Wildland Resource Sci., Univ. of California, Berkeley 1971
Ph.D. Wildland Resource Sci., Univ. of California, Berkeley 1978

Research Interests

Here is a list of recent research:

  • Validation and Calibration of FARSITE Fire Area Simulator for Yellowstone National Park
  • Temporal distribution of biomass burning in Central Africa
  • Content analysis of wildland firefighter fatalities and entrapments
  • Evaluation of fuel management treatments following the 1994 wildfire season on the Kootenai National Forest.
  • Historic Fire Regimes and Change Since European Settlement on the Northern Mixed Prairie
  • Social Acceptability of Fuel Management Treatments
  • Smoke Production and Quality from Smoldering Combustion in Forest Fires
  • Modeling the Initiation of Crown Fires

 

Selected Publications

Cruz, M.G., Alexander, M.E., and Wakimoto, R.H. 2004.  Assessing canopy fuel stratum characteristics in crown fire prone fuel types of western North America.  International Journal of Wildland Fire 12:39-50.

Cruz, M.G., Alexander, M.E., and Wakimoto, R.H. 2004.  Modeling the likelihood of crown fire occurrence in conifer forest stands.  Forest Science 50(5):640-658.

Cruz, M.G., Alexander, M.E. and Wakimoto, R.H. 2005. Development and testing of models for predicting crown fire rate of spread in conifer forest stands. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 35:1626-1639.

Cruz, M.G., Alexander, M.E. and Wakimoto, R.H. 2005. Stand structure modification to reduce fire potential: simulation vs. reality. IN:  Proc. 5th National Forestry Congress sponsored by the Portuguese Society of Forest Sciences. May 16-19, 2005, Viseu Portugal (not refereed).

Cruz, M.G., Alexander, M.E. and Wakimoto, R.H. 2005. Development and testing of models for predicting crown fire rate of spread in conifer forest stands. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 35:1626-1639.

Cruz, M.G., Butler, B.W., Alexander, M.E., Forthofer, J.M. and Wakimoto, R.H. 2006. Predicting the ignition of crown fuels above a spreading surface fire. Part I: model idealization. International Journal of Wildland Fire 15:47-60.

Agee, J.K., R.H. Wakimoto and H.H. Biswell. 1978. Fire and fuel dynamics of Sierra Nevada conifers. For. Ecol. Manage.1:255-265.

Radtke, K. W-H. and R.H. Wakimoto. 1981. The effects of southern California's fire climate on vegetation and people. IN: Proc. Ninth International Congress of Biometeorology, Sept. 23-Oct. 1 ,1981, Osnabrueck and Stuttgart-Honenheim, Germany.

Wakimoto, R.H. 1990. National Fire Management Policy. J. For. 88(10): 22-26.

Xanthopoulos, G. and R. H. Wakimoto. 1991. Development of a wildland crown fire initiation model. pp. 281- 290. IN: Proc. of the 11th Conf. of Fire and Forest Meteorology. April 16-19, 1991. Soc. of Am. Foresters, Bethesda, MD.

McAlpine, R.S. and R.H. Wakimoto. 1991. The acceleration of fire from point source to equilibrium spread. Forest Science 37(5):1314-1337.

Wakimoto, R.H. 1992. Fire at the wildland/urban interface: policy implications. IN: Symp. on Fire in Pacific Northwest Ecosystems: Exploring Emerging Issues. Jan. 21-23, 1992. Oregon State Univ., Corvalis, OR.

Xanthopoulos, G. and R.H. Wakimoto. 1993. A time to ignition-temperature-moisture relationship for branches of three western conifers. Can. J. For. Res. 23(2):253-258.

Brown, J.K. R.W. Mutch, C.W. Spoon and R.H. Wakimoto. Eds. 1995. Proc. Symp. On Fire in Wilderness and Park Management. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-320. 283pp.

Close, K.R. and R.H. Wakimoto. 1995. GIS and fire management planning on the urban/wildland interface. IN: Proc. Symp. Fire in Wilderness and Park Management. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-320.

Skinner, J. and R.H. Wakimoto. 1995. Using a geographical information system for presuppression planning of lightning-ignited wildland fires in Missoula, Co., Montana. IN: Proc. Symp. Fire in Wilderness and Park Management. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-320. p. 265.

Wakimoto, R.H. 1997. Testimony to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. Congressional Record, July 15, 1997. The subject was Wildland Fire Policy.

Barrett, T.M., J.G. Jones and R.H. Wakimoto. 2000. Forest Service spatial information use of planning prescribed fires. Western J. of Applied Forestry. 15(4):1-8.

Cruz, M.G., R.H. Wakimoto, and M.E. Alexander. Modeling the initiation and spread of crown fires. IN: Proc. 2000 National Congress on Fire Ecology, Prevention and Management. Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 2000. San Diego, CA. (In Press)

Wakimoto, R.H. 2000. Testimony to U.S. House subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. Congressional Record, September 16, 2000. The subject was the causes of the Bitterroot Valley Fires of 2000.

Wakimoto, R.H. 2001. Testimony to U.S. House subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. Congressional Record, July 31, 2001. The subject was the implementation of the National Fire Plan.

Cruz, M.G., R.H. Wakimoto, and M.E. Alexander, Modeling the probability of crown fire initiation in coniferous stands. (In review)

Cruz, M.G., R.H. Wakimoto, and M.E. Alexander, Assessing canopy fuel stratum characteristics for some western U.S. crown fire prone fuel types.(In review)

Cruz, M.G., R.H. Wakimoto, and M.E. Alexander, Modeling crown fire spread rate in conifer stands.(In review)

Cruz, M.G., R.H. Wakimoto, and M.E. Alexander, Assessing the probability of crown fire initiation.(In review)