The Topic:

Easier - A fire is the flames, heat, and light produced by something burning.
Harder - Three conditions must exist before a fire can be made. There must be a fuel or substance to burn. The fuel must be heated to its ignition temperature, the lowest temperature at which combustion can begin and be sustained. Finally, there must be plenty of oxygen, which usually comes from the surrounding air. In 1777, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier demonstrated that the burning is the result of the rapid union of oxygen with other substances. Burning is also called combustion. As a substance burns, heat and light are produced.
One of peoples' earliest uses for fire was for keeping warm. Methods for starting and kindling a fire in those early times were slow and laborious. As civilizations developed, people learned to use fire in different ways. People used fire to cook food, to shape weapons and tools, to change clay into pottery, and to furnish light.
Modern people have improved their ways of kindling fires. They also use fire in many more ways. Fire provides the energy to drive machines and keeps industries running. Fire supplies the power to move trains, ships, and planes; it generates electricity. Fire is used to remove and destroy waste materials. In addition, fire is used to separate most metals from their ores, and to forge and shape those metals into useful things.
Controlled fire is useful, but fire also destroys things. Each year, uncontrolled fire kills thousands of people and destroys billions of dollars worth of property.
Home Fire Escape Plan
An escape plan must be created and practiced so that each person knows exactly what to do in the event of a fire in their home.
Kids Fire Safety Tips
Buzzy the Smoke Detector and Reddy the Fire Extinguisher teach you to be fire safe with easy to do tips.
Other Fire and Fire Safety Websites Especially for Kids:
2) Kid Safety: Fire
3) Fire Lessons
4) USFA Kids Homepage (United States Fire Administration)
National Fire Protection Association
This comprehensive site maintains updated information on fires, fire prevention, and safety.
Related Website:
2) Sparky the Fire Dog
Virtual Fire Department
At this site you can tour several fire stations and look at interviews with firefighters. It also has lesson ideas, student projects, and lots of links to other websites for fire safety information.
Visit some of the fire websites, then select and complete one or more of these projects:
Complete a Fire WebQuest. Follow or adapt the webQuest procedures found at The Cow Didn't Do It by Bonnie DeFelice and Carolyn Heuck to examine the cause of the Chicago Fire.
Research and Debate Controlled or Prescribed Burning. Visit several of the sites related to forest fires and wildfires, searching for information about controlled burns. In examining this controversial tactic, you may also want to go to these websites:
1) Backfire, Not Controlled Burn, Sparked New Mexico Inferno at Forest Magazine
2) Controlled Burn Ban extended for National Park Service
3) Controlled Burns on Federal Land Catching On at Seattle Times
4) Prescribe Burning: Should We Do It?
5) Weaver Placed on Leave for Authorizing Controlled Burn
Identify the issues. What are the major arguments for both sides? Then debate the use of prescribed burns.
Develop a Home Fire Escape Plan. First visit sites like Home Fire Escape Plan. Then make a plan for your own home. Be sure to go over your plan with other members of your family. Revise the plan if you find any weaknesses.
Create a Fire Safety Poster. Focus your work on a particular type of fire; i.e., forest, home, electrical, or other type fire. Then create an eye-catching poster that has a fire safety or fire prevention message. Post your final version where many others can see it. Remember that 'Fire Prevention Week' is in the month of October.
So You Want to Be a Firefighter! Visit several of the websites about being a firefighter. You may also want to visit the Careers section of 42eXplore to learn about firefighting occupations; the qualifications, physical requirements, additional training, and career opportunities. If you have specific questions, then be sure to contact an expert in the field at Fire & Emergency Careers, And Fire Safety Info. Put together your findings into a report about the firefighting career that you are interested in.
Websites By Kids For Kids
Fire Safety (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Learn more about fire safety at this interdisciplinary site involving history of fire, the science of fire, real life math problems involving fire and health and safety around fire.
Great Fires (1998 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This webpage will teaches about twin disasters - the worst and most famous fires that began on the same day, Sunday Oct. 8, 1871.
History of Fire (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
At this site, 'Flamita' will introduce you to the history of fire; how it was probably discovered, how and when to produce it under safe conditions, the dangers that it represents when it is out of control, its main uses, and some first aid techniques for burns.
More Websites
Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation
You can learn about burn prevention, fire safety, and how you can help burn victims at this website from a center that helps those who've been harmed in fire related accidents.
Preparation Tips and Exercise Program for a Firefighter Career (Los Angeles Fire Department)
The job of firefighter is one of the most labor intensive and physically demanding jobs around. Personal safety depends on proper training and the degree of each firefighter's physical fitness.
Country Fire Service of South Australia
Discover what you need to do to survive a fire, read a history of the CFS, and learn what causes fires.
KIDDE Home Safety Education Center
Here you can find out what to do in case of a fire, and how to protect your home against one.
Fire Prevention Week
At this site, learn the history of 'Fire Prevention Week' and why it is observed in the week in which "October 9th" occurs.
Fire & Emergency Careers, And Fire Safety Info
Ask “experts” in the field of fire fighting any question you would like to know about or look at previous questions and answers.
International Fire Information Network
FireNet is a special interest network dedicated to all aspects of fire science and management.
Kern County Fire Department
This website provides a virtual tour of a California fire station, including pictures of fire engines, a slideshow, and more.
Similar Website:
2) Bellingham Fire Department (Washington)
Preventing and Fighting Fires at World Book
Each year, fires kill more than 5,000 people in the United States and more than 600 people in Canada. More than a fourth of the people killed by fires are children. With planning and vigilance, most home fires can be prevented.
History of Fires and Firefighting
Chicago Fire! from National Geographic
Learn about this amazing fire that destroyed thousands of buildings and read about one young girl's narrow escape.
Related Website:
2) Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory
Fire Museum Network
Here you can locate the close to 300 Fire Museums in the U.S. and Canada, ranging from the spare room in a firehouse basement to magnificent, first-class institutions which inform, educate, and inspire us all. Together, these museums preserve and celebrate the heritage of firefighting in North America.
Fire Museums:
2) Red, White and Blue Fire Museum (Breckenridge, Colorado)
3) Firehouse Museum (San Diego, California)
4) Friendship Fire Company Museum
Great Fire of London
On Sunday, 2 September 1666, the destruction of medieval London began. Within five days the city that Shakespeare had known was ravaged by fire.
Related Websites:
2) Great Fire of London at World Book
3) Great Fire of London (The London Gazette)
4) Great fire of London from the Journals of John Evelyn and Samuel Pepys
5) Samuel Pepy's Diary: The Great Fire of London
Websites on Forest Fires
 Canadian Wildfire Network
This website contains information about forest fire fighting in Canada.
Not-to-be-Missed Section:
Fire Research Network
The mission of this Canadian center is to increase our understanding and ability to manage wildland fire within the context of sustainable development of Canada's forest.
Firewise (National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Protection Program)
This site provides information that may lessen the risk of wildfire loss for you, your family and your neighbors.
Hot Shot Photo Journal
Follow a U.S. Forest Service Hotshot Crew as they fight forest fires in America's wilderness.
Keep Montana Green Association
This website focuses on the prevention of wildfires caused by people on the forest and rangelands of Montana.
Similar Website:
2) California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
National Interagency Fire Center
This agency is responsible for helping to stop U.S. wildfires. Here you will find information on current wildfires and a history of the agency.
Related Website:
2) Fire Management at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Role of Fire in Ecosystems (Bureau of Land Management, Environmental Education)
Learn why fire is an essential component of many ecosystems.
Related Websites:
2) Fire Effects Information (USDA Forest Service)
Smokey Bear
Learn how to prevent a forest fire, how to make a campfire the right way, and check out Smokey's rules for what to do when a situation gets a little hot.
Related Websites:
2) Smokey Bear Historical State Park
3) Smokey's Activity Sheets (Stanislaus National Forest)
4) Smokey Bear
What Does It Take to be a Career Wildland Firefighter?
At this site, a wild land fire fighter tells what it takes to do the job.
Other Websites About Firefighting Careers:
2) Fire Fighter, Hotshot Crews, Smoke Jumpers, Tools of the Trade
3) Forestry and Firefighting Jobs
4) International Helicopter Firefighters Association
5) National Smokejumper Association
6) Smokejumpers
7) Torched By Michael Paterniti (Outside Magazine article)
8) Women in the Fire Service, Inc.
Wildland Fire Assessment System (USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station)
This website provides daily fire weather and fire danger information.
Wildfires: Yellowstone Fires and their Legacy by Rocky Barker
This site is an online comprehensive guide to the Yellowstone fires of 1988.
Woods Ablaze
This edition of The Why Files examines the role of fire in natural systems, and the role of science in understanding wildfires.
Websites for Teachers
Story of Fire (Grade 5-8)
This cross-curricular lesson in science and history examines fire as both a benefit and a detriment to man.
Fire Safety: Activities to Spark Learning! A lesson planning article at Education World
Here is a firehouse full of cross-curriculum activities and fire-related Websites for Fire Prevention Week.
No To Pyro "Fire Safety" (Grade K-1) An AskERIC Lesson Plan by Eric A. Peterson
Children need to learn how to handle situations where something is not safe when dealing with fire. This lesson will show them what to do when they come across a situation where there is a possible problem.
forest fire
controlled burn
carbon monoxide
stop, drop & roll
fire alarm
fire extinguisher
fire code
fire escape
fire drill
Smokey Bear
fire truck
fire danger
fire safety
smoke alarm
spontaneous combustion
prairie fire
fire department
fire brigade
brush fire
grass fire
fire hazard
build a fire
fire line
fire retardant
trees and forests
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 7/00