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Type: FireWorks activities
Availability: Public access
Date Created: May 8, 2018
  • FireWorks Educational Program
  • Ilana L. Abrahamson
    US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program

Lesson overview: In this activity, students study the history of a real wildland fire, the Lolo Peak Fire of 2017 in western Montana. They view and discuss a presentation and 2 short videos to learn how managers used information on weather, fuels, and topography to manage the fire. Then they identify patterns in weather data that are correlated with fire behavior. They synthesize day-by-day reports from the official records of the Incident Command (IC) Team and news articles to create podcasts on the fire’s progress. Finally, they interpret maps and slides in a presentation that shows the fire’s growth and the variety in its severity.

Lesson Goals: Increase students’ understanding of the

  • interactions of weather, topography, and fuels as they influence fire behavior.
  • ways in which fire managers use data, modeling, and experience to manage a wildland fire.
  • variation in severity of a wildland fire.

Objectives: Given weather data, reports from an Incident Command Team, and news articles, students can

  • explain why a wildland fire showed rapid spread at times and showed little or no spread at other times.
  • synthesize information on the progress of a wildland fire into a podcast for a national audience.
  • interpret maps and photos that illustrate the fire’s growth and severity.

Cataloging Information

Fire Behavior    Fuels    Models    Weather
Partner Sites:
  • fire management
  • Lolo Peak Fire
  • topography
Record Last Modified:
Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 56011