Using Fire to Curb the Spread of Invasives 

Students learn about how controlled burn fires can be used to curb the spread of invasive plants and about the benefits of heating homes with wood.

Program Details

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Using Fire to Curb the Spread of Invasives 


•Indigenous Fire (Shkode) Keeping and Land Management.pdf; •Indigenous Fire Management Talking Points.pdf; •Segment embedded on QUILLS website of Rick Beaver discussing the work of Alderville Black Oak Savannah; •Benefits of Fire.pdf

Spotlight on Language


  • Anishinaabemowin: Shkode
  • Kanyen’kéha: Ó:tsire
  • Students add the local Indigenous names for fire to their Outdoor Learning Journal. Students can also go onto the online QUILLS dictionary to hear the pronunciation of words. 

Indigenous Fire Keeping

  • Internationally, Lewis (1993) notes that Indigenous people have over 70 uses of fire. Some of these specific uses include tree felling, clearing travel corridors, fireproofing settlements, and hunting etc.


Western STEM Connection-Benefits of Fire: Heating with Wood

  • Students examine InfoGraphic titled the Benefits of Fire.pdf that shows the salient points from the following STEM study:

Barto, D., Cziraky, J., Geerts, S., Hack, J., Langford, S., Nesbitt, R., Park, S., Willie, N., Xu, J., and Grogan, P.  2009. An                   integrated analysis of the use of woodstoves to supplement fossil fuel-fired domestic heating. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education 38: 87-92.

  • Teacher explains how the strategy of burning wood to supplement other home heating approaches is particularly important to consider given the large number of trees that are being cut down to restrict the spread of invasive species that are currently affecting forests (eg: emerald ash borer and harvesting of trees killed by diseases such as Dutch elm disease. 
  • Also, mountain pine beetle affected forests in which much dead wood is being harvested and made into wood pellets out in B.C.
  • With teacher guidance students explore different methods used to heat homes (propane, natural gas furnaces, electric baseboards, wood burning etc.). Students compare benefits and drawbacks of each of these methods. 
  • Students can also explore and discuss the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy sources and analyze how to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness drawing on these different sources.