For 72 years, Smokey Bear has been in our homes and in our schools reminding us that WE can and should prevent forest fires.
It is the time of year when families are out and about, going on hikes, taking summer camping trips, and just all around enjoying the nature around us. But before you head out on your journey to get away from civilization and relish that invaluable time with your kids, please remember how important it is to take care of the fragile nature you are about to enjoy. We all know the regular things that start fires – the ones we have learned about for years. But – there are SO many things that can start a fire that most people do not even know about!
The Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), have launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) that aim to help prevent wildfires nationwide by increasing awareness about less commonly known fire starts.
Did you know? A wildfire can start due to the following:
- Metal chains hanging from a moving vehicle
- Parking over tall, dry grass
- Improperly extinguished fire pit
- Dumping ashes from a BBQ/grill
- Dying embers left in a campfire
Millions of wildland acres will burn unintentionally this year. Much of it because most people are unaware of many things that can actually start a wild fire – things that most people would never think of. When camping, take care when using and fueling lanterns, stoves, and heaters. Make sure lighting and heating devices are cool before refueling. Avoid spilling flammable liquids and store fuel away from appliances. Do not discard cigarettes, matches, and smoking materials from moving vehicles, or anywhere on park grounds. Be certain to completely extinguish cigarettes before disposing of them. Follow local ordinances when burning yard waste. Avoid backyard burning in windy conditions, and keep a shovel, water, and fire retardant nearby to keep fires in check. Remove all flammables from yard when burning. Although most of us don’t behave this way intentionally, each year we learn of devastating wildfires caused by careless behavior which can impact millions of acres of forest and thousands of homes. Although four out of five wildfires are started by people, nature is usually more than happy to help fan the flames.
Right now, California and Colorado are being devastated by wild fires! Please – get the word out and remind your friends and family! Share this message, your own camping tips, and fire prevention methods on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SmokeyBearHug and #OnlyYou! And if you tag @smokey_bear on Twitter – he may just tweet you back!