FireWorks for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Cascades - M10: Fire, Soil, and Water Interactions
Course Type: FireWorks activities
Availability: Public access
Author(s): FireWorks Educational Program
  • Ilana L. Abrahamson
    US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program
Date Created: February 14, 2018

Cataloging Information

  • burn severity
  • erosion
  • litter
  • soil
Partner Site(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: February 10, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 25759


Lesson Overview: In this activity, students view and take notes on a presentation. Then they either observe or conduct an experiment that illustrates how wild land fires affect the potential for soil erosion. They learn that soil burn severity varies greatly and that when fires remove the litter, duff, and plant cover on the ground, the risk of soil erosion increases.

Lesson Goal: Increase students’ understanding of the effects of wildland fire on soil properties and the likelihood of erosion after fire.


  • Students understand how fires affect the soil.
  • Students understand that the effects of fire on soils are variable.
  • Students understand that if fires consume the litter, duff, and plant cover on the ground, this increases the chances of soil erosion