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How could a river burn? Why did this happen here?

The first time the river caught fire was in 1868. Since then, several smaller fires and three major fires have been recorded; one in 1936, then another in 1952. The third and final fire, which would become known worldwide as “The Fire,” started at 11:56 a.m., June 22, 1969. This event motivated increased international interest in our natural resources, and placed the environmental movement in the political spotlight.

This website will help you answer some of these burning questions. How could a river burn? Why did it happen here? Has it always been this way? Can it happen again? How can you help?

As a result of your scientific investigations, you will learn how to identify and report polluted waterways, and how these conditions can be avoided. You will also learn how you, your family, and your friends can influence the future health of your rivers and streams.

Funding provided by the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, and by Toby Devan Lewis, ideastream trustee, art collector and philanthropist


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How could a river burn?