Source: The Canadian Forestry Association
Students will become familiar with fire terminology, realize how fire can be used as a management tool, and better understand the factors that need to be considered when planning a prescribed burn.
In this activity the students will form opinions around fire management issues. They will then work in small groups to get more information around the issues and make a more informed decision.
Skills: problem solving, critical analysis, decision making
Duration: one hour
Group Size: any size
Materials: four index cards for each student, copies of the background information sheets for survey questions one and two, coloured markers
The following questions are designed to help students understand and explain different types of human perspectives related to fire management issues. They will formulate informed judgments about what they think would be the most responsible and appropriate actions to take. There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers. Teachers are encouraged to have students do additional research so that decisions are based on the best factual information available.
A - Definite NO
B - Uncertain NO
C - Uncertain YES
D - Definite YES
Question #1 Should fires in the forest, both natural and human-caused, be put out?
Question #2 Is prescribed burning a good idea?
Compare the original opinions and informed decisions. Discuss the importance of learning about all sides of an issue before making a decision or forming an opinion. Opinions and decisions are based on available information, which may or may not be complete or accurate. How can the public get the information they need to make informed decisions? Discuss the need to be open to new information.
Have students create an informational brochure which explains prescribed burns, giving examples of where fire might be used as a management tool and listing factors which might affect the use of fire as a tool. Have students do the Fire Vocabulary exercise.
Focus on Forests, Intermediate/Senior, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Wildfires: Should we let them burn or put them out?, National Geographic World, v (177), May, 1990 pg. 10
Wildfire: it's a hot topic, National Geographic World, v (169), Sept. 1989 pp. 26-31 The Book of Fire, by William H. Cottrell Jr.; ISBN 0-87842-255-2