Fire Basics for Kids

Our Fire Basics section is designed for kids who want to learn more about fire.

Managing resources through prescribed fire

A wildfire can be carefully monitored to also meet resource objectives, just like a prescribed fire. It may burn very hot and climb trees or just creep on the ground.

Fire as a Natural Resources Management Technique

People have long recognized fire’s dual nature, a fact reflected in many stories. A classic example is the Greek myth of the Phoenix, a bird that lived for hundreds of years. At the end of its life the Phoenix burst into flames and then was born anew from its own ashes.

As the Phoenix used fire to renew itself, resource managers use fire to renew certain natural and historical environments. These are prescribed fires. Similar to the way that a doctor may write a prescription for medication to help a person feel better, resource managers study places and develop prescriptions or, burn plans. Prescribed fires transform habitats to support or protect native species. They can also help re-create historic landscapes that were burned regularly by people or naturally in the past, but have not been burned in recent decades. A prescription also tells the conditions under which a fire will be ignited by trained professionals.

Watch and Learn

Another way that resource managers use fire is by closely monitoring a naturally started fire, one ignited by lightning or lava, and allowing it to burn to meet specific resource objectives.

All fires, prescribed and wildland have risks and are potentially dangerous. Protecting human life is always the first priority and burn plans always look at the best ways to keep people safe.