FireWorks for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Cascades - M17 & H16: Dating Fires Using Dendrochronology
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 16, 2018

Cataloging Information

  • annual rings
  • dendrochronology
  • fire scar
Partner Site(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: February 10, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 25908


Lesson Overview: Students discuss the current prevalence of wildfires in their region and ways to find out if those fires are typical for the 3 forest types they have been studying - forests historically dominated by ponderosa, lodgepole, and whitebark pine. Then they either view a presentation or complete an electronic tutorial covering 10 terms that are important for understanding fire history.

Lesson Goal: Ensure that students have a working understanding of dendrochronology and fire history methods so they can interpret the fire history of individual trees and forests in subsequent activities.

Objectives: Students understand all of the new FireWorks vocabulary (see list above and in Step 3 of Materials and preparation) well enough to use them in a paragraph about how to use trees’ annual growth rings to learn about fire history.