Friday, June 10, 2016

Fourth graders tell their fire stories, learn about renewable forests

Fourth grade students ran with a parachute and squirted an engine hose as they enjoyed a day in the Forest May 31, experiencing how forest lands recover after wildland fire.

Forest visits were organized by Courtney Couch, Forest Service Fire Education and Prevention Specialist. Each day-long field trip took place at Spring Bar, O’Hara Creek and Musselshell Creek, three fire affected areas on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests.

Students were divided into groups and heard seven different presentations on wildland fire. Presentations included wildland engine operations, helicopter operations, what it means to be a smokejumper, the science behind prescribed burning, the ecological benefits of fire, and making a ‘firewise’ home.

Students also took an emotional healing walk while observing forest regeneration in a burned area. 

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests were one of 186 federal recipients selected to receive an Every Kid in the Park (EKIP) grant. These grants provided funding for transportation to get children outside, exploring their public lands.

The grant covered the cost of busing fourth grade students from Nezperce, Grangeville, Kooskia, Kamiah, Weippe, Pierce, Riggins and Orofino, to sites on the Nez Perce–Clearwater National Forests.

In addition, the Forest Service visited classrooms before and after the field trip to give students an opportunity to discuss their experiences surrounding the 2015 fire season.

This effort was led Matti Sand, a U.S. Forest Service Fire Lookout. Matti provided a safe and understanding atmosphere where students could talk about how the fires affected their lives and families.

Following the field trips, students used poetry to express what they learned and their wildfire experiences last summer. See the end of this article to read student poems.

For the poetry writing, children were encouraged to be creative and were not bound by rules of spelling or punctuation. At the suggestion of the Friends of the Kooskia Community Library and through support of other local libraries, these student poems will be on exhibit this summer. The Forest Service will be providing a bound copy of poems, organized by school groups, to community libraries. 

The grant, Healing the Land, Healing Ourselves: Exploring the Ecological and Psychological Influences of Fire in Our Communities around the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests received writing assistance and fiscal sponsorship from the Clearwater Resource Conservation and Development council. 

Information on emotional healing was provided by the Willow Center. The Idaho Department of Lands provided presentations on ‘firewise’ homes. The Clearwater Potlatch Fire Protective Association assisted with wildland engine operations for the Orofino and Timberline field trip. 

The Nez Perce Tribe provided presentations on forest regeneration during an emotional healing walk. 

This project was made possible by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of Disney and individual donors from across the country.

The U.S. Forest Service is one of seven federal land management agencies that comprise Every Kid in a Park, a Presidential initiative to give every fourth grader the chance to explore America’s great outdoors and our unique history.

The President called upon seven agencies, including the Forest Service, to “help get all children to visit and enjoy the outdoors and inspire a new generation of Americans to experience their country’s unrivaled public lands and waters.”

In addition to the Forest Service, the other agencies that are part of Every Kid in a Park are the U.S. Bureau of Land Management; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

For more information, contact Courtney Couch at the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests: (208) 926-4274.

Timberline Elementary

The Great Fires of 2015 by Levi
Powerful, warm
Burning, growing, dying
Burning up trees; putting out fires
Moving, flowing, evaporating
Cold, deep

When the Fires Came by Hailey
In the forest a tree
Here’s a fire crackling and
Screaming with rage,
The tree tries to run
But he can’t by now
He hates his roots…
Soon the fire emerges
In front of him
With the wood peckers
Yelling burn burn 

The fire, started to burn him 
Soon the fire past
He was alive
The tree was so glad 
He burst with tears of joy.
Fire the Destroyer
Warm soon turns to its wild side
The red flames set to burn all
In its path soon could with evil spirit
It’s out after a week and a half the elements still hold embers 
It start again

Fire and Ice – by Jayme
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire some say in ice 
from what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire
But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate to say
that for destruction ice is also great

Poems of FIRE by Exzavier
Fire is dangerous
It fills water of ash
Rashes from the heat
Embers and sparks burn

Run Trees by Destiny
I am red
I have flames
I burn things
There is smoke where I go?
What am I?
The animals die because of me
The trees burn because of me
What am I?
The trees burn from this thing
What is it?
I help recycle the Earth
My ash goes to the soil
What am I?

Fire Poetry by Sam
Fire burning when it’s hot, 
Flames flying with the wind,
Fire getting higher and higher,
Burning the canyon,
Scorching the woods,
And blazing the houses and fields.
That is my poem
The first flame, the first spark
Going higher and higher
The first black dust
Trying to catch the wind.
That is my poem.
Fire…glowing red and orange in the night,
Wanting to burn,
Wanting to glow so bright. 

Birthday Fire by Ethan
Sitting at the campfire watching flames go up
And up at my brother’s birthday
Stacking more wood and more
On the fire telling scary stories.
While absorbing more heat from the fire. 

The Poem of Fire by Kyd
Fire…makes me remember the fire of 1910.
A lot of families died right then.
They could see the pyro catching up to them.
There in the woods was a sea of flames.
And that was the fire of 1910.

Orofino Elementary

Summer Flames by Stevie
Idaho Fires 2015
Summer flames above the mountains
Below the clouds
May it stop?
Should we sob?
What should we do?
Can we stop the trees from new
Hideous hairdos?
Most importantly
Can we prevent wildfires?
Help Smokey Out Kids
Don’t play with matches!

Fire Poem by Seger
Fire crackle sizzle
Frightening burning
Birds fly low
The smokes gets lower

When the smoke fly’s out
The animals pop out
The trees regrow
The bugs come out

Thank you to ALL the 
Firefighters for putting out the fire. 

Fire! Smoke! By Kelly
I don’t really like it
It is horrible
It smells horrible
It is fire!!

The smoke was thick
My dad was working
I was scared!!!

I went outside 
It smelled like smoke
Mixed with pine tree
It stunk bad.

Everyday my dad was out
Telling people to leave their home
I felt sad and scared.

It was one of the worst weeks
Of my life
But when it was over
It was one of the best days
Of my life.

2015 Fires by Mylie
The fire is burning so hot 
The heat is absorbing into my body.
The yellow and blue flames
The red coals glowing
And the smell of burning wood. 

Fire Tips by Cheyanne
1. Make sure your address is posted clearly so people can see it.
2. When there is a fire get wood and dry stuff away from your house.
3. Make sure tree branches are not on your house because when the fire comes it won’t burn the top of your house.
4. Clean your chimney because if you have straw or dry stuff in your chimney it could burn the straw and it could fall in your house and burn the whole inside of your house. 
Thank you J

Wild Fire!!! By Briley
We were sitting
Not aware of anything
Papa comes in telling us
To come out!!!

I stood on a stump 
looking at the site of the fire
Eating the house.
Across the canyon.

My gramma called 911
And the friends
Asking if they were OK.
They were just fine.

WILD FIRE by Bodey
Fire you make me quake and shake
Your heat makes my heart beat fast
And can’t control it. 
You fire sound like gunfire
You make firefighters fight.

Fire by Patrick
Fire is bad for lungs
Bad for wood in forests
Good for smores
Roasting hot dogs

Fire Poetry by Loudan
Fire fire everywhere.
Helicopters in the air.
We need water everywhere
To put that fire out so fast
We need water really fast.
Ashes in the air.
Flames in the trees.
Smoke everywhere

Propane tank on fire.
Yelling in the house.
A hose turning on.

My experience to Fire’s in 2015 by Dayna
Big fires smoke in the air 
Tears coming from my eyes 
Hot in the air
Sun hiding
Me sweating
Me sad
Watching houses burn down
Sad faces come all over
Birds flying low
Places on fire
Fire fighters working long days
Some water getting poured.
Sad people
Houses on fire
Scary sounds
Me crying
Sorry faces.
Outside fire fighters
Working hard
And risking lives.

The Fire of 2015 by Linda
Smoke flying in the morning
Can’t breath from smoke in the air.
Smoke going here 
Smoke going there
Smoke going everywhere
Fire is on the green burning
From all the lightning
Heading to the next place to attack. 
Quick! We need a evacuation 
Fire is going in my calculations.
Fires all done in all places
Time to get back to 
Summer vacation

Fire by Donya
Mom, Dad, the dogs and I drove through Lenore 
and got to somewhere safe
Then the fire was over 
We were safe
Back home with the dogs.
We’re glad to be home and so we’re the dogs
The end!

Fire of 2015 by Lexie
Fire, fire 
your cool to admire
but not when you spread
more and more 

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