Teachers use Dorris Creek Fire to educate students about wildfires

Science teacher Nate Day said the students will likely have to live with these fires for the rest of their lives.

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 6:44 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 11:23 PM

FINN ROCK, Ore. -- The Dorris Creek Fire sparked up on Wednesday morning on a hillside that's a relatively short distance behind McKenzie High School in Finn Rock.

When it was first spotted, school officials said students were a little frightened.


However, they received information that the fire was burning away from the school, and things settled down.

That's when Nate Day, a science teacher at McKenzie, decided he wanted to take his Earth science students into the school parking lot and use binoculars to look at the fire.

Day said the students will likely have to live with these fires for the rest of their lives and found this to be a great opportunity to educate them about wildfires.

"It's really important for the kids to see what's going on in the world around them and see how science can explain what to expect, and explain how fires can spread and be stopped," Day said.

Kelly Hiddleston lives across the road from the school and works in the cafeteria there.

She said she first saw the fire around 10 a.m. Wednesday and was initially afraid for the school, the kids and her home.

However, as the day went on, her concerns lessened.

“It hasn’t hit me yet. Lets put it that way," Hiddleston said. "I feel that I know that we got an east wind, I’ve been told. So, fire’s moving away from us. When the wind changes, things might change.”

Roughly 70 personnel and multiple helicopters and airplanes have been attacking the fire since Wednesday morning.

Air activity has been scaled back as of Wednesday evening, but they are on standby if they're needed.

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