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Activity teacher notes 3.5

3.5 Wildfire

Levels: P, S
Focus curriculum areas: Society and history
Supporting curriculum area: Arts
Key concepts: Social responsibility, safety, wildfire

Fire safety at home - be prepared

Understanding goals

Students look at the far-reaching consequences of fire, including loss of personal property, human and animal life. They understand terms such as ‘total fire ban’.

Students practice school fire drill and review home fire plans.


Practice your school fire drill.

Review your home fire action plan, write up a procedure with a map.

Discuss the idea of losing special things – what would students miss if a fire burnt their local park?

Discuss the dangers of wildfire.


1. a) What does Total Fire Ban mean? Use the Tasmanian Fire Service web site to help you.

b) What does fire permit period mean?

c) Should you ever leave a fire unattended? Why not?

2. Find out about fire danger ratings. What weather conditions would lead to a high fire danger alert?

3. As a class, discuss/debate: "People should be allowed to light fires any time and any place they want to".

fire raging in the Tasmanian bush

4. a) How are people affected when there is an uncontrolled bush fire? Research the Sydney bushfires, the 1967 Tasmanian fires or Black Wednesday in Victoria.

b) What are some of the consequences of uncontrolled fire in national parks and reserves?

5. Make a list of things people can do to help minimise wildfire.

6. What do people who live near the bush need to know about staying safe during a bushfire? Research using the Tasmanian Fire Service web site to help you.

7. Design a poster around one of these to remind people to be careful with fire. Design your poster so it could be used in a national park.

8. For homework, interview an older person who has been close to a big bush fire. (You can do this by telephone.) Ask them some questions about what the fire was like.

the aftermath of fire - burnt trunks
  • What do they remember most?
  • Did they feel in danger, or concerned for people they knew?
  • Did they lose any property?
  • Were there any homeless or dead animals?
  • How long did it take for the land to recover?
  • Has it made them more careful about lighting fires outside?

9. In pairs, discuss how you would feel if your home burnt down and you lost everything?

10. Research preventative steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire in your home. Use the Tasmanian Fire Service web site to help you

11. In pairs, discuss how you think the community should deal with people who deliberately light bushfires. Can you think of any ways to make them responsible for their actions and aware of the devastation they cause?

12. What number do you call to report a fire?

Going further

For information on preventing fires and the Tasmanian Fire Service see http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/

Watch their DVD, "Bushfire - prepare to survive"