Fire Basics for Kids

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

Seedling sprouts from burned pinecone

A new seedling sprouts at Shenandoah National Park from burned Table Mountain pine cone. NPS photo by Barb Stewart.

Fire Quiz—Did You Know?

  • Warm, dry winds called Chinook Winds (pronounced shin-ook) occur on the eastem slopes of the Rocky Mountains and can help cause severe fire hazard conditions? These winds can blow more than 100 miles per hour.
  • Temperatures of fuels such as wood found in an open field may be warmed to as much as 160 degrees F by the sun?
  • Lightning is like a gigantic spark between a negatively charged lower cloud and the positively charged Earth?
  • A test fire is used before igniting a prescribed fire to determine the exact burning conditions and how the fire will behave?
Test Fire

A test fire at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site determines if conditions are right to move forward with the prescribed fire.

  • Native Americans used fire to help with hunting more than 4,000 years ago?
  • Some pine cones, called serotinous cones, rely on fire to help them open so they can release their seeds?