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Fire Wars
Feature titles; see text links below
Video: NOVA News Minutes Fire Hunter
Welcome to the companion Web site to "Fire Wars," originally broadcast on May 7, 2002. In the program, NOVA accompanies the men and women of a wildland firefighting crew known as the Arrowhead Hotshots as they battle one of the most destructive wildfire seasons ever, the summer of 2000. Here's what you'll find online:
  • The Producer's Story
    How did NOVA's film crews get close-up footage of dangerously volatile, 100-foot-high crown fires in the far West? Here, a behind-the-scenes report from producer Judith Vecchione.

  • The World on Fire
    Every year, wildfires rage across millions of acres on all continents save Antarctica. Using annotated satellite maps of Earth, view and review the 2000 fire season on six continents.

  • Outfitting Wildland Firefighters
    In this interactive feature, take a closer look at two fully clad wildland firefighters and learn more about their specialized gear.

  • How Plants Use Fire
    Some plants and animals have adapted to naturally occurring fire to such a degree that they can't live without it. In this article, fire historian Stephen Pyne investigates the wildlife-wildfire bond.

  • Glossary of Fire Terms
    What's the difference between torching and candling? Blow-ups and flare-ups? Fire whirls and firestorms? Find out here.

  • Wildfire Simulator (Hot Science)
    Use this simple fire-growth computer model, developed by NOVA Online, to see how conditions such as wind speed and direction can affect the spread of a wildland fire. Also, try your hand at using virtual firebreaks and backfires to control a wildfire.

  • On Fire (Hot Science)
    This virtual laboratory lets you explore the basics of combustion, including how a fire ignites, what a flame is made of, and how burning molecules rearrange themselves.

Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide.

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Photo credits

The Producer's Story | The World on Fire | Outfitting Wildland Firefighters
How Plants Use Fire | Wildfire Simulator | On Fire
Resources | Transcript | Site Map

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  NOVA Online is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit.
Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, Sprint, and Microsoft.
Major funding for "Fire Wars" was provided by the National Science Foundation.

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© | created April 2002

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