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Forest Fires (Grade 5)

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Forest Fires

There's no doubt about it. Fire is dangerous! That's why you learn about fire safety when you're very young. You know, for example, that you should always give matches to an adult. But if you think about it, fire can also be useful. At home, your parents may barbeque delicious meals on the grill. A fire in the fireplace can keep you warm and cozy on wintry days.

In nature, fires in forests and grasslands can be useful, too. In fact, some fires are actually needed to keep the land healthy. Fires in nature don't always burn with huge flames and great heat. Such smaller fires clean out leaves and dried grass that have built up over a few years. They help recycle dead plants, releasing nutrients into the soil. The nutrients help new grass and other plants to grow. Many animals like to eat the tender, nutritious plants that return after a fire.

In addition, some plants actually need a fire. Certain pine cones won't open and drop their seeds without the heat of a fire. Fires can kill insects that harm trees. Even burned, dead trees are places where birds can nest or sit and watch for prey.

To help keep the land healthy, trained fire specialists sometimes set fires. Conditions
need to be just right, so that the fires do not get out of control. Fires started in the wrong conditions, without planning, or through carelessness can spread quickly and do a lot of damage. That's why if you live hear wild lands or visit them, it's important to be very careful with fire and to follow fire safety rules.
1. 
What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Forest fires are responsible for great damage.
  2. All plants rely on the nutrients found in the soil.
  3. Forest fires can sometimes be quite beneficial.
  4. Animals typically prefer the tender shoots of new plants.
2. 
Which detail would fit best with the main idea in last paragraph?
  1. Instructions on how to put out a campfire
  2. The basic rules of overall fire safety
  3. What conditions specialists have to consider
  4. Details about the training fire experts must undergo
3. 
What would make the best title for this passage?
  1. An Ongoing Need for Fires Specialists
  2. The Destruction of Heat and Flames
  3. How to Keep Small Fires Under Control
  4. The Usefulness of Planned Forest Fires

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