Questions for Burning to learn


Before reading:

1.      Describe at least three ways fire plays a direct or indirect role in your everyday life.

2.      Provide some examples of fire safety measures in place in your home or school.

During reading:

1.      What is forest litter?

2.      How can a fire create a break in a forest?

3.      Explain how a fire can benefit a forest.

4.      List three tools used by fire experts at the Southwest Research Institute.

5.      Why did the Hindenburg explode and burn?

6.      Why are fire safety experts interested in lithium-ion batteries?

7.      Why are potential leaks from hydrogen cars in enclosed spaces a concern? And what have scientists learned about how serious these leaks are?

8.      Describe some of the wildfire questions that experts at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory seek to answer.

9.      What is the connection between the mountain pine beetle and wildfires?

After reading:

1.      Why might smaller and more frequent fires be better for a forest than larger and less frequent fires?

2.      Refer to the story and calculate about many people died in fires in the United States in 1977.


1.      Research which states face the greatest threat from the mountain pine beetle. Is your home state among then? Why or why not? And what other concerns does the beetle pose to forests?

2.      Survey the materials and vegetation around your home or school. Do they pose a risk of fire? How vulnerable is your neighborhood to wildfires? What changes to the landscape or the buildings in your neighborhood would increase or decrease that risk?