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Fire Management (page title)

K-12 Curriculum Guide

Fires burn thousands of acres in Alaska each year. Because fires affect all Alaskans, it is important that everyone understands the "Role of Fire in Alaska." Fires caused by lightning are a natural part of the boreal forest and tundra ecosystems. They help maintain a diversity of vegetation ages and types, providing habitat for a greater abundance and diversity of wildlife. On the other hand, fires caused by careless humans can have an adverse effect.

This curriculum has been developed to help teach Alaskans about the role of fire in the boreal forest and tundra ecosystems. Although these two ecosystems are treated as separate units, it is important to emphasize that forest and tundra areas are often found mixed together throughout the state.

This curriculum contains three different sections. They each contain lesson plans and background information on both tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. They are arranged as follows:

button cover How to Use This Curriculum
Unit I
Unit II
Unit III
Glossary, References and Indexes for PDF printing

A glossary, literature, related links, and Alaska State Content Standards are provided, and can be accessed from the left side of your web screen or at the end of the printed document.

This curriculum was revised from the 1992 "Role of Fire in Alaska" curriculum to provide additional information for teachers. The curriculum borrows ideas and teaching techniques from many sources, such as the Alaska Wildlife Curricula. Each lesson now identifies the Alaska State Content Standards that are addressed, and provides grade levels, skills, setting, the duration of exercise, group size, and vocabulary.

Reference material for this curriculum are generally included within this website. However, a box of reference materials can be borrowed from the Fish and Wildlife Service. Please contact your nearest National Wildlife Refuge System office for information or call the Alaska Resource Library and Information Service (ARLIS) at 907-272-7547.


This revised curriculum still contains most of the content and lessons developed from the original curriculum. Janet Ady, Beverly Farfan, Heather Johnson, Pam Nelson, Sue Quinlan, Karen McKibbin, Cathy Rezabeck were the original authors and editors. They deserve credit for their work in developing a comprehensive curriculum. This revision could not have been completed without the support of Larry Vanderlinden and the editing work of Jennifer Coggins, Mary Timm, Karen Murphy and others. Harvey Heffernan, Lynette Nakazawa and Janna Taylor helped create the maps that appear in this curriculum. Kathy Sarns Irwin revised the artwork and Rose Primmer completed the layout, design and made the curriculum website compatible.
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