Fire Squirts Summer Camp

The U.S. Forest Service partners with the Bureau of Land Management, Framing Our Community (a local non-Children learn about fireprofit organization), and local school districts to provide a summer opportunity for local children in Idaho County to learn about fire. The Fire Squirts program is a fun, educational week-long camp that teaches children, ages 8 to 14, about fire ecology, fire history, fire behavior, fire prevention, and fire suppression.  

Through interactive sessions, creative artwork, laboratory experiments, and dramatic play, students learn about the fire triangle, ecological cycles, fuels treatments and defensible space, map and compass skills, and much more. Students dress up in firefighter and smokejumper personal protective equipment to learn firsthand about tools and gear, engines and parachutes, and even try suppression tactics on a practice fire. The children also visit nearby homes that impacted by a recent wildfire to learn about defensible space. They even get to “play with fire” in laboratory experiments that demonstrate how fuel composition, wind, and topography influence fire behavior.
                                                         
The Fire Squirts program has been offered annually by the Nez Perce National Forest since 2000. The camp curriculum was originally designed and implemented for Elk City children by Jill Wilson, a former Forest Service Fire Prevention Technician and teacher at the Elk City School. Jill has since moved on, but the program has become well established. Locations have varied from year to year in order to reach more kids across Idaho County.  Tuition is free, but space is limited to 25 students in Fire Squirtsgrades 2-8.