Students learn fire ecology & behavior
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
July 29, 2009
Fire Prevention staff with the Bridger-Teton National Forest held a fire ecology program for the Wind River Discovery Camp at Burnt Lake in Wyoming on July 22nd and 29th. The program topic was fireís role in forest ecosystems and how suppression has altered the natural cycle. In order to show the effects of slope and fuel loading, the kids designed match stick forests. They were then asked to design a matchstick forest around a home in a manner that would mitigate fire danger. The experiment, which is based on FireWorks curriculum, allowed students to watch fire behavior in a controlled setting.
The fire education program presented by the Forest Service complemented the Wind River Discovery Campís goal to give kids a deeper understanding of the natural environment surrounding them. The Sublette BOCES sponsored camp is a 5-day science adventure camp for kids from 5th through 8th grades. The camp holds two sessions during the summer for 20 to 25 kids. "Itís a great camp," Debbie Hutta said one of the camp coordinators. "Kids go hiking, kayaking and conduct biodiversity inventories, write poetry and practice survival techniques."
After the fire experiments, the students doused the matchstick forest until it was cool to the touch. Fire Managers on the Forest would like to remind the public to be careful with fire and to completely extinguish all fires. So far this year 82 abandoned campfires have been discovered on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Fines for abandoned and unattended campfires are $225. Current fire danger level is Moderate.