Fire outreach for kids

burn board demonstration
Photo credit: Anu Kramer

Sasha Berleman and Anu Kramer gave a 2.5 hour fire lesson to kids ages 6-13 at a day camp in El Cerrito, CA.  They covered basic and advanced fire physics, as well as the interaction between fire frequency and severity in Sierra Nevada ecosystems.  They pulled out all the stops with demonstrations including a candle, burn boards, a pyrolysis demonstration, and the fire whirl!

Fire vortex
photo credit: Anu Kramer





Where Fire Works

Listen to graduate student Kate Wilkin Thursday October 2nd on NPR affiliate Capital Public Radio at (Morning Edition at 630 and 830 AM, All Things Considered at 430 PM) as part of a five part series on Fire in California. Check out the multimedia series or read about Kate’s adventure with an NPR reporter.

Kate being interviewed
Photo credit: Stacey Frederick

Kate Wilkin guided Capital Public Radio reporter, Amy Quinton, through Yosemite National Park’s Illilouette Basin to discuss “where fire works” in California. They explored an area where lightning strike fires have been allowed to burn since the 1970s resulting in a restored forest with a rich fire history. The rich fire history demonstrates that once fires are allowed to burn, they are self-limiting. The fires start to fit together like a jig saw puzzle. The past fire prevents a future fire. After a decade or more, past fires no longer limit the extent of other fires, but they often moderate fire severity, or how many trees are killed. The restored forest has quilt-like patches of unique communities and range from open park like forests to shrub lands, dense baby trees, and wetlands all with diverse plants and animals on the forest floor. Learn more at