The more children know about a scary situation, like wildland fires, the less fearful it is. Equip your children with knowledge about fire science and ecology, forest habitats, wildfire safety and prevention tips, and about wildland firefighting techniques. Here are some of the best resources currently available for introducing and teaching children about wildfires. Pick and choose age-appropriate sources from the list below. For older youth, it’s also helpful to be sure they know and understand why primary sources are best for finding credible, factual information.
Resources for Children & Families
- “Beyond Smokey Bear: Teaching Kids About Wildfires” – Out There Outdoors August 2019 issue, Out There Kids column
- Smokey Bear official homepage – U.S. Forest Service; Smokey for Kids.
- PBS Idaho Science Trek: Wildfires – List of curriculum and activities for teachers and parents.
- National Weather Service: Outreach and Education Resources
- National Geographic: Wildfires by Kathy Furgang (ages 6-8)
- The Charcoal Forest: How Fire Helps Animals and Plants by Beth A. Peluso (ages 4-8)
- The Role of Wildland Fires in our Forest (e-book)
- Smokejumpers by Elaine Landau (grades 3-5)
- The Great Yellowstone Fire by Carole V. Vogel and Kathryn A. Goldner, published 1990 (ages 8+)
Videos for Kids
IdahoPTV’s Science Trek – Wildfire Basics (grades K-6)
Videos for grades 4+ & adults
Outdoor Idaho: Living with Wildfire (Episode originally aired 10/17/19)