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Jon Rieck

St Mary Peak Bitterroot NF

Biological Scientist

800 East Beckwith Ave
Missoula, MT 59801
Contact Jon Rieck

Current Research

Jon's current research interests include quantitative analysis of wildland fire suppression effectiveness, firefighter exposure on large wildland fires using spatial mapping techniques and spatial analysis of landscape level fuel treatments and their effect on fire behavior.


  • Montana State University, B.S. Earth Science - Geography, Physical Geography, Meterology, GIS, Remote Sensing, 2001
  • Featured Publications


    Thompson, Matthew P.; Lauer, Christopher J.; Calkin, Dave E.; Rieck, Jon; Stonesifer, Crystal S.; Hand, Michael, 2018. Wildfire response performance measurement: Current and future directions
    Thompson, Matthew P.; Freeborn, Patrick; Rieck, Jon; Calkin, Dave E.; Gilbertson-Day, Julie W.; Cochrane, Mark A.; Hand, Michael, 2016. Quantifying the influence of previously burned areas on suppression effectiveness and avoided exposure: A case study of the Las Conchas Fire
    Calkin, Dave E.; Phipps, John; Holmes, Tom; Rieck, Jon; Thompson, Matthew P., 2011. The Exposure Index: Developing firefighter safety performance measures
    Large wildfires are inherently more complex; often affecting multiple jurisdictions and requiring a balance of strategic long-term planning and nimble tactical solutions to meet dynamic conditions on the ground. With this increase in complexity comes increased uncertainty.
    Each year thousands of wildfires occur within the United States. Increased federal spending on large wildfire management has become a growing concern to Congress, to state and federal agencies, and to the public. The Wildfire Risk Management Team is undertaking a series of empirical studies from recent wildfires that track daily resource use, including aviation and ground-based fire suppression resources, to asses the effects of resource use on wildfire containment under a range of environmental conditions.
    The cost and cost effectiveness of wildfire suppression efforts have recently been scrutinized due to increased suppression expenditures in the United States. This scrutiny has resulted in increased pressure to balance the costs, benefits, and risks of wildland fire management. The Wildfire Risk Management Team is using econometric modeling to empirically examine various aspects of wildland fire management expenditures such as identifying and examining factors related to suppression expenditures, and analyzing trends to better forecast suppression expenditures.
    The Wildfire Risk Management Team is an interdisciplinary team that explores wildfire management through the lenses of risk analysis, economics, decision science, and landscape ecology to improve the scientific basis for the full range of wildfire management decisions. Primary research topics include integrated spatial risk assessment modeling and planning, econometric modeling of fire management expenditures, effectiveness of suppression resource utilization, organizational structure and managerial incentive systems, and performance measurement.

    RMRS Science Program Areas: 
    Human Dimensions