FireWorks Trunk

Woman wearing safety glasses leans over sticks on metal plate
Teach fire safety


Spark your students' interest in wildland fire!

The FireWorks trunk teaches students about the physical and chemical properties of fire as well as the role of wildfire in our western landscape. This trunk is packed with exciting experiments, a felt board, wall posters, an interactive CD highlighting native uses of fire, and much more!

K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-10

Developed by the Fire Lab in Missoula, MT, this curriculm features ponderosa, lodgepole, and whitebark pine forests, and provides students with interactive, hands-on materials to study the forces that cause change in forests, particularly wildland fire.

Lesson Plans
The U.S. Forest Service - Missoula Fire Sciences Lab website has a page that describes the curriculum and its effectiveness in teaching about wildland fire. Choose a program for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, or 9-10. You can download or view all of it by choosing the "curriculum" link at the Fire Sciences Lab website about FireWorks.


  • Book of Fire. Cottrell, W.H. 1989. (ISBN: 0878424911)
  • Fire: A Force of Nature. De Golia, J. 1989. (ISBN: 0887140386)
  • Graced by Pines: The Ponderosa Pine in the American West. Murphy, A. 1994. (ISBN: 0878423079)
  • Legends of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Hadley, E. and Hadley, T. 1985. (ISBN: 0521263115)
  • Made of Each Other: A Symbiosis of Birds and Pines. Lanner, R. 1996. (ISBN: 0195089030)
  • Plant Survival: Adapting to a Hostile World. Capon, B. 1994. (ISBN: 0881922870)
  • Rocky Mountain Tree Finder. Watts, T. 1972. (ISBN: 0912550058)
  • Tree Basics. Shigo, A. 1996. (ISBN: 094356316X)
  • Wildfire. Cone, P. 1997. (ISBN: 1575050277)
  • Yellowstone on Fire. Staff of the Billings Gazette. 1989. (ISBN: 0937959545)


  • Burning Issues. Bureau of Land Management and Florida State University. CD-ROM.
  • Burning Issues II.Bureau of Land Management and Florida State University. CD-ROM.
  • FireWorks Curriculum CD-ROM
  • International Crown Fire Modeling Experiments. USDA Forest Service. 1998. VHS Video.
  • Kinds of Fire: A visual guide to fire behavior in Western forests. USDA Forest Service. VHS Video.
  • Managing Wildland Fire: A matter of choice. USDA Forest Service. VHS Video.
  • Wildfire: Preventing Home Ignitions. Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. 2002. VHS Video.
  • Yellowstone Aflame. Finley-Holiday Film Corporation. VHS Video.
  • Yellowstone Fire. Stoney-Wolf Productions. VHS Video.

Other Resources

  • Posters/Cookies -Laminated tree cookies (cross-cuts), fire triangle, fire safety, etc.
  • Matchstick Forest Kit-(Masonite boards, nuts, washers) used to demonstrate how terrain, weather, and fuel effect how a fire burns
  • Feltboard Kits-lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, whitebark pine, and mystery tree
  • Hand lenses (10)
  • Thermometer
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Safety goggles
  • Fuels-dead, dry needles of ponderosa pine, fine branches, thick branches, duff (peat), mineral soil (sand), pine cones
  • Cone specimens (8 species)
  • Tree cookies (cross-cuts from 3 species)

Borrowing Instructions

All of Glacier's traveling trunks are free of charge and can be borrowed for 2-4 weeks at a time, but must be picked-up and dropped-off in person. (Sorry, it is not possible to mail the trunks.) To arrange to borrow a trunk please submit a reservation form found on the main Traveling Trunks page.

The Flathead National Forest also has a copy of this same trunk for loan. The contact information is on our additional trunks in the Flathead Valley list.

Last updated: November 4, 2017

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West Glacier, MT 59936


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