FireWorks for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Cascades - M09: Smoke from Wildland Fire: Just Hanging Around?
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: June 1, 2018

Cataloging Information

  • human health
  • smoke dispersion
  • visibility
Partner Site(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 31, 2023
FRAMES Record Number: 56013


Lesson Overview: From a lab demonstration or video, students learn how smoke disperses (or doesn’t), depending on atmospheric conditions. They learn how smoke affects visibility and human health, especially if it sticks around for days or weeks instead of dispersing into the upper atmosphere. Finally, they apply health guidelines regarding smoke to the issue of protecting students’ breathing while planning athletic events on smoky days.

Lesson Goal: Increase students’ understanding of smoke from wildland fires, how it disperses, its effects on human health, and how we can protect ourselves from its effects.


  • Students can interpret data on inversions and air quality during a wildland fire.
  • Students can make a decision about how to protect respiratory health during sports events.