With more than 8 million students in grades 6-12 living in at-risk communities National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Young Minds Inspired (YMI) have teamed up to provide 3 no cost virtual field trip videos and accompanying lesson plans for teachers to help students better understand wildfires as well as empower them with the knowledge that they need to lessen that risk. These videos and downloadable lesson plans meet Common Core requirements for English Language Arts, and can be used by educators (teachers and fire and life safety educators in fire departments) to help students learn more about wildfire and wildfire-related risks.
The video series examines the aftermath of three major wildfires in the United States and short and long term impacts. The purpose of the series is to help students understand why homes burn and learn what they can do to do to lessen their family’s risk of loss due to a wildfire event.
The first video from homeowners Peggy and Noble Kelly’s perspective talks about what their experience was one year after the Okanogan County, Washington Fire and how they protected their home. The next video features Wildland Urban Interface Specialist with Texas A&M, Kari Hines five years after the wildfire in Bastrop, Texas. She informs students about how low-intensity wildfires are a part of the natural process, and steps people can take to mitigate or lessen their risk of loss to a wildfire. The third features Kendall Bortisser, fire captain with CAL FIRE, ten years after the Cedar Fire in San Diego, California and Glenn Barley a Region Resource Manager for CAL FIRE in San Bernardino County. This story focusses on lessons learned after the Cedar Wildfire Event included the importance of homeowners maintaining the home ignition zone and damage a high-intensity wildfire event can cause to a watershed. The final video defines steps teens can take to reduce their family’s risk of loss due to a wildfire event as well as the no-cost guide about potential community service projects available to youth as part of NFPA’s TakeAction Initiative.
Help students better understand wildfires and how wildfire events are a natural part of our ecosystem and empower them with knowledge to help their families become better prepared before an event occurs. This science-based knowledge will help them understand how they can be a part of making their homes and communities safer during a wildfire event.