Learning about Wildfires

 On Sunday, 63 wildfires ravaged more than 30,000 acres of parched Texas land.  You can see the huge plume of smoke that filled the air in Navarro County, where I was visiting over the weekend.
Right inside the city, it seemed as if the fire must have been very near.  Another fire was visible from the other direction as I took this photo.

The skyline has been similar across the state all week and around the country all summer.  In most cases, wildfires are caused by people.  Help your students understand how to avoid causing accidental fires.

Kids can visit Smokey's Outpost to get fire prevention ideas from Smokey the Bear.
The site includes information and interactive activities to help kids remember how to prevent wildfires.

Students can practice map skills while learning about fire prevention by tracking current wildfires on the Large Fire Incidents map.

Then, visit the Texas Forest Service site to get printable fire safety coloring pages.  Also check out Smokey's Resources, where you can find a printable activity booklet with wildfire prevention information and a Smokey the Bear puppet theater.

The materials are available in color or black and white.  Students can use the stick puppets and theater to act out the fire safety tips they've learned.

Then help students understand responsible water use, which is also important during long periods of drought.