FireWorks for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Cascades - H08A: Fire Environment Triangle and Fire Spread: The Matchstick Forest Model (Option A)
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 8, 2018

Cataloging Information

  • fire spread
  • slope
  • tree density
Partner Site(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: February 17, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 56029


Lesson Overview: In this activity, students design and conduct an experiment to investigate how slope and the density of trees (or other kinds of standing fuels) affect fire spread.

Lesson Goal: Increase students' understanding of experimental methods and wildland fire spread.


  • Students will design a controlled experiment to investigate relationships among slope, stand density, and fire spread.
  • Students will write a hypothesis, conduct an experiment, summarize results, and draw conclusions.
  • Students will compare their experiment and results to those of their classmates.