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K-12 and Youth Wildland Fire Resources

I am often asked about what types of wildland fire K-12 and youth resources are available and where to find them. There are numerous excellent programs and resources out there, but no one central location (that we have found) where they are housed. So, we have developed a comprehensive list of the online resources of which we are aware. These are listed below in alphabetical order with the name of the program, a short description, and a link for more information.

If you know of additional resources not included here, please make additions to this list in the comments below, or feel free to contact me at jennifer_fawcett (at) ncsu (dot) edu. We hope this information is useful, and hope for it to grow with your great work!

-Jennifer Fawcett, Extension Associate, NC State University

Be Ember Aware

For more information, visit:

Burner Bob

Burner Bob is a bobwhite quail who lives in the longleaf forest with other animal friends such as gopher tortoises and red-cockaded woodpeckers. He is the Smokey Bear of prescribed fire. For coloring sheets and other information, visit: 

Fire Works Program

FireWorks is an educational program about the science of wildland fire, designed for students in grades 1-12. The FireWorks program consists of a curriculum and a trunk of materials, including laboratory equipment, specimens, CDs, books, and kits of specialized materials for teachers. Content focuses on the physical science of fire behavior, human influences on fire, and fire ecology in the northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades. The curriculum has also been adapted to Colorado ecology (implemented by Colorado Project Learning Tree ( and ecology of the Missouri River country (from the northern Rocky Mountain Front to the tallgrass prairies).

For more information, visit:

 Forest Fever

This program, intended for the high school and junior college audience, focuses on three forest needs – environmental, economic, and social – and how professional foresters balance these needs through best management practices and forest stewardship.

For more information, visit:

Junior Forest Ranger

Become a Junior Forest Ranger! The Junior Forest Ranger (JFR) program is an exciting way for young people to explore their national forests and grasslands.  The JFR program uses Forest Service science and practices to encourage children 7 through 13 to enjoy and appreciate nature. JFR motivates children to explore the natural and cultural world, and embrace their responsibility to it.

For more information, visit:

 Learn Not to Burn

NFPA has created programs to reach preschoolers through grade 1 students. The Learn Not to Burn Preschool Program is designed to reach young children ages 4-5. While it is called a preschool program, the lessons can be used with kindergarten level students as well. Learn Not to Burn – Level 1is intended for students in grade one. NFPA plans to expand the Learn Not to Burn Program to reach additional grade levels.

For more information, visit

 Living with Fire

An educational game that puts you in the place of a fire manager, based on research and tools developed for real-world fire management. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Also see Interactive Learning.

For more information, visit:

 Longleaf Alliance Next Generation

Lessons 10, 11, and 25 all contain information regarding fire. For more information, visit:

Natural Inquirer Wildland Fire Edition 1

This edition of the Natural Inquirer is all about wildland fire. You will learn about the benefits of wildland fire, as well as some of its dangers. You will learn what fire scientists are learning about wildland fire. Wildland fires are interesting, and they are fun to learn about.

For more information, visit:

Want a way to make the articles more interesting and help your students remember the information?  Use our fun word search documents (PDF) and other various activities.  Blank copies and answer keys are provided.

To play the games, visit:

Natural Inquirer Wildland Fire Edition 2

For more information, visit:

This edition of the Natural Inquirer focuses on wildland fire. Wildland fire has been defined as any fire occurring in vegetation areas regardless of how it was started. In this edition, you will learn about different types of wildland fires, including uncontrolled wildfires and fires purposely set and controlled by foresters to provide benefits to a natural area.

National Inquirer Climate change Edition

For more information, visit:

In one article, you will learn whether the 13 Southern States have held or released more carbon into the atmosphere over the last 100 years. In another article, you will think about what will happen to streams when different species of trees are planted close to them. Another article will help you discover whether scientists are predicting more or fewer wildfires in the South’s future. You will learn how southern rural areas are likely to be affected by the changing climate. Finally, you will discover what scientists are learning about where nonnative plant and animal species are likely to live in the future. As you read these articles, you will discover how climate change is affecting the South’s land, wildlife, air, water, and wildland fires.

 NOVA Fire Simulation

NOVA Online has developed its own version of a fire-growth computer simulation. Its purpose is to show how conditions such as wind speed and direction can affect a fire’s spread and to show how firefighters use firelines and backfires to control a wildland fire.

For more information, visit

NOVA Fire Wars

In the program, NOVA accompanies the men and women of a wildland firefighting crew known as the Arrowhead Hotshots as they battle one of the most destructive wildfire seasons ever. Plus Resources and a Teacher’s Guide.

For more information, visit:

Ohio DNR Fire Prevention teacher resource kit

Wildfire prevention is beneficial for everyone, but it is especially important to get young kids introduced to Smokey Bear! Doing this provides an excellent foundation for fire safety and a respect for nature that they can build upon throughout their lives. This kit contains some great materials with fun and educational wildfire prevention messages for kids in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.

To access the kit, visit:

A video of the Smokey Bear Song referenced in the kit is located at:

Project Learning Tree (PLT)

PLT’s award-winning, multi-disciplinary curriculum materials are hands-on and fun, and aligned with state and national education standards. More than half of all PLT activities can be conducted outdoors. Some of the curriculum, such as Forests of the World contain fire resources. For more information, visit: Recommended fire activities include:

PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide 

  • Activity 69: Forest for the Trees
    (Student pages and resources available online)
    In this activity, students will role-play managing a Tree Farm. By using a piece of land as a Tree Farm, they will begin to understand the economic factors that influence management decisions for private forest lands.
  • Activity 80: Nothing Succeeds Like Succession
    (Student pages and resources available online)
    Succession is a natural pattern of change that takes place over time in a forest or other ecosystem. In this activity, students will read a story about succession, and investigate the connection between plants, animals, and successional stages in a local ecosystem.
  • Activity 81: Living with Fire
    (Student pages and resources available online)
    Students learn about the three elements a fire needs to burn and find out how an understanding of this “fire triangle” can be used to both prevent and manage wildland fires.

PLT’s Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests

  • Activity 5: The Nature of Fire
    (Student pages and resources available online)
    Students will learn about the role of fire in forest ecosystems, will examine issues of fire in the wildland-urban interface, and will conduct a wildfire safety assessment in their community.
  • Wildfire Safety Checklist – a one page handout you can use to determine potential fire risks.

PLT’s Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Risk

  • Activity 7: Decision Making: Ecological Risk, Wildfires, and Natural Disasters
    (Student pages and resources available online)
    In this activity, students will develop and apply decision making skills to various environmental risk scenarios including wildland fires, natural hazards, and threats to coral reefs and mangrove swamps.

Smokey Bear Teacher Resources

Get helpful teacher resources! There are several materials that meet national teaching standards. As a teacher, you can introduce a whole new generation of children to Smokey Bear and his message of Wildfire Prevention. There is a variety of material for different age groups. Select the materials that are best suited for your classroom.

For more information, visit:

Sparky the Dog Fire Activities

Contains numerous games and activities. For more information, visit:

Tall Timbers Teacher Education Resources

Information and downloads for the Red Hills region with two lesson plans, along with a set of educational videos, and a 2016 episode of a Local Routes video. Visit:

U.S. Forest Service Educator Toolbox

Here you will find background resources to help you understand forests and grasslands, professional development opportunities and resources, and a collection of great materials and programs organized by grade-level.


 Wildfire Lesson Plans

Available at:

Includes links to three interactive lesson plans on the topic of wildfires. Using educational flyers, videos, and smartboard technology, these lesson plans help students explore wildfire prevention and investigate how controlled burns are used for habitat restoration. The curriculum is designed for 5th through 8th graders and meets Pennsylvania Ecology and Environmental Education Standards.

Through the lesson plans students will understand ways to reduce wildfire risk around their home and community. They will also learn how trained professionals use controlled burns to maintain habitat for endangered species.

Wildfire Prevention Online Educational Program

The Wildfire Prevention Online Educational Program is part of an initiative to help protect our forest resources through education and information about wildfire, wildfire prevention, and forest management. While the primary audience is middle elementary students, the Wildfire Prevention Online Program can also be used to inform all children and adults.

For more information, visit: