Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

Testing fire ecology curriculum.

Jenn and Jasper Peach field test new fire ecology curriculum at Grand Canyon National Park.

Grand Canyon Develops Fire Ecology Curriculum

Grand Canyon National Park
Department of the Interior story, Maintain and Restore Landscapes*

During the spring of 2010, Jasper Peach, Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) Assistant Fire Effects Lead, and Jenn Peach, volunteer for Grand Canyon's Environmental Education program, collaborated with Grand Canyon Environmental Education staff and volunteers on researching fire education programs and developing a Grand Canyon-specific fire ecology curriculum. The end product is a curriculum designed for use by GCNP educators and educators outside the park interested in incorporating fire ecology into their science curriculum. Funding for the project was gained through an in-park grant and from the Intermountain Region.

The program is aimed toward middle and high school students and incorporates classroom learning, lab demonstrations and experiments, and field experience meeting Arizona State Standards. Fire Effects tools, protocols, and methods are incorporated into the curriculum. The activities and field experience are modeled after skills used by the GCNP Fire Effects Crew with the thought that data collected could potentially be incorporated in the Grand Canyon National Park's Fire Monitoring Program.

One of the main goals of the program is to give students a chance to conduct research like a professional—immersing them into a potential career pathway. Another main objective is to get students at the local high school and middle school within Grand Canyon National Park to become familiar with and gain an understanding of fire ecology. Small prescribed fires and mechanical thinning treatments scheduled in the coming years should provide students with opportunities to compare data across years and treatments types.

The curriculum includes detailed instructions, background information and activities to help educators unfamiliar with fire to present the material in an accurate and exciting way. The program is flexible enough to be used as a week-long teaching unit or condensed as a two-day field trip. The “Fire Ecology on the Rim” curriculum is available on the Grand Canyon National Park website.

Contact: Jasper Peach, Assistant Fire Effects Lead
Phone: (928) 638-7062

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.