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Nature Conservancy


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Video, 11 minutes, 40 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon, Southern Oregon

Through the Fire

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  • This article and linked video describes the 2021 Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, the benefits of dry forest restoration, and how those benefits became apparent during the aforementioned wildfire.
  • Students will learn that the fire was started by lightning and burned for over a month, but that the ecological thinning and prescribed burning in some areas minimized the damage of wildfires.
Teaching Tips


  • The video is well-produced and informative.
  • The article is concise and thought-provoking.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand what forest restoration is and why it's important.
  • Students should know the terms ecological thinning, prescribed fire, and severity.


  • This resource allows students to evaluate how the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Klamath Tribes are addressing the social problems caused by wildfires.
  • After viewing the resource, the teacher could lead a classroom discussion on why dry forest restoration is not more prevalent in the United States.
  • Science classes can use this resource for lessons about ecological succession, forest management, ecological benefits of small fires, and how climate change will affect the frequency and intensity of forest fires.
Scientist Notes
This resource from The Nature Conservancy explores the Bootleg Fire, which burned for 39 days in 2021 in Klamath and Lake Counties in Oregon. This area is home to many Klamath Tribes members and the Sycan Marsh Preserve. The video shows the devastation of the fire and how forest restoration efforts and prescribed burns in Sycan Marsh mitigated the fire damage in that area. Throughout this resource, the natural cycle of frequent, mild fires is highlighted, and the video shows how the fire suppression tactics of the past one hundred years literally added fuel to the fire by failing to clear out small vegetation that covers the forest floor. This resource clearly shows how prescribed burning adds resiliency to dry forests and it is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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