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Conservation Department's Forest Fire Truck, Fish Creek Pond, 1928

Forest fire truck at Fish Creek Pond
New York State Archives, NYSA_14297-87_B254_57L328FFC
 
Document Description
A New York State Conservation Department forest fire truck at Fish Creek Pond in the Adirondack Mountains, September 24, 1928.
 
Questions
Identify the variety of tools with which an Adirondack firefighter would be equipped in 1928.
Choose two tools that are specific to a country firefighter and explain why they are used in the country but not in the city.
What tools and equipment would an Adirondack firefighter have today that weren't used by firefighters in 1928?
 
Historical Challenges
Research the origins of Smokey the Bear.
 
Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Arts: Write a newspaper article as if it were the year 1900 that describes safety precautions one must take to prevent forest fires.
Art: Create a poster for fire safety week.
 
Resources
Beil, Karen Magnuson. Fire in Their Eyes: Wildfires and the People Who Fight Them. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1999. ISBN: 0152010432
George, Jean Craighead. Fire Storm. New York: K. Tegen Books, 2003. ISBN: 0060002638, 0060002646
Godkin, Celia. Fire!. Markham, Ont.: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2006. ISBN: 1550418890
Landau, Elaine. Smokejumpers. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, 2002. ISBN: 0761323244
Lauber, Patricia. Summer of Fire: Yellowstone, 1988. New York: Orchard Books, 1991. ISBN: 0531085430
Morrison, Taylor. Wildfire. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. ISBN: 0618509003
Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw. Fire: Friend or Foe. New York: Clarion, 1998. ISBN: 0395730813.
Nobisso, Josephine. John Blair and the Great Hinkley Fire. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. ISBN: 0618015604.
Morrison, Ellen Earnhardt. Guardian of the Forest: A History of Smokey Bear and the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention Program. Alexandria, VA: Morielle Press, 1995. ISBN: 0962253758.
Podskoch, Martin. Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, The Southern Districts. Fleischmanns, NY: Purple Mountain Press, 2003. ISBN: 1930098464.
Podskoch, Martin. Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, The Northern Districts. Fleischmanns, NY: Purple Mountain Press, 2005. ISBN: 1930098677.
 

Historical Context
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a multitude of large, dangerous, and expensive forest fires caused New York State to dedicate new manpower and develop new technologies for reporting forest fires throughout the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The "great fires" of 1903 and 1908, which consumed nearly one million acres of forest, led to the creation of fire districts with fire superintendents, fire patrolmen, and a systematic approach to address citizens' concerns about forest fire management in the Adirondacks. In 1909, the first Adirondack fire tower was built.
 
Essential Question
How do human settlement patterns impact the environment?
 
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and explain why this equipment was necessary.