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Exploring Wildland Fire

Bureau of Land Management
Environmental Education Electronic Field Trip

November 7, 2002



On the Air: Wildland Fire is a 'Hot' Topic

On Thursday, November 7, 2002, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hosted its second live satellite broadcast, Share the Adventure! Exploring Wildland Fire, from BLM's National Training Center in Phoenix.
One of many wildland fires that occurred during 2002
Nearly 7 million acres in the western U.S. burned during the the 2002 fire season.

Featuring live remotes from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, and from a Nature Conservancy site in Florida, the show involved a crew of over 50 people and students from Phoenix-area schools who were part of the studio audience. Student reporters from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, and Florida, as well as fire experts from BLM and The Nature Conservancy, kept up a lively pace while covering a wide variety of topics.

Wildland fire was chosen as the subject for this year's broadcast as the 2002 fire season continued to make headlines for several months. The broadcast explained the science behind the news and offered opportunities for students to connect learning with real world issues. Students learned about the important role that fire plays in many ecosystems and about some of the factors that affect the behavior of wildland fire. They saw how different communities deal with the risks associated with fire and how people can make their homes safer from wildfire.
Students watching broadcaseInterior Secretary Gale Norton introducing broadcast
Students from Stevens Elementary School in Washington, D.C. watched the broadcast from Interior Department headquarters. Interior Secretary Gale Norton (right) introduced the program.

Middle school students from around the country also participated in the interactive broadcast. They called and faxed in questions for the fire experts and competed for prizes in the Wildfire Challenge game. To accommodate schools in all U.S. time zones, two live, one-hour broadcast sessions were offered, each with a half-hour bonus session available for those whose schedules allowed. Calls were still coming in as the bonus sessions ended.

And be sure to check out the rest of this website. You'll find an introduction to some basic wildland fire concepts and profiles of some of the locations visited on this BLM field trip. You'll also find an educator's guide that you can download and print out. It includes specific learning objectives for the program, more background information on wildland fire, a variety of classroom activities to pursue with your students, and correlations to National Science Education Standards. Copies of the taped broadcast will be available from BLM in the next few months. Please check back here for details.

Last updated: 10-23-2009