Posts Tagged ‘forest fire’

Blazing Trails with Gabe Chapin – use of prescribed fires

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A staple of my youth – Smokey Bear taught me that only I can prevent forest fires.  (Click here to travel Smokey’s history.) Now, there’s a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) and an educational DVD for elementary school students designed to provide critical information to Americans about wildfire prevention.

Since his “birth” on August 9, 1944, Smokey Bear has been a recognized symbol of conservation and protection of America’s forests. His message about wildfire prevention has helped to reduce the number of acres burned annually by wildfires, from about 22 million (1944) to an average of 6.5 million today. However, wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical environmental issues affecting our country. Many Americans believe that lightning starts most wildfires. In fact, on average, 9 out of 10 wildfires nationwide are caused by people. The principle causes are campfires left unattended, trash burning on windy days, arson, careless discarding of smoking materials or BBQ coals, and operating equipment without spark arrestors.

Since 1944, Smokey Bear has been communicating his well-known message, “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.” In 2001, the term “Wildfires” was introduced to include all unwanted, unplanned fires in natural areas such as grass fires or brush fires.

The new PSAs seek to continue to decrease the number of human-caused wildfires and they encourage young adults to “Get Your Smokey On” – that is, to become like Smokey and speak up appropriately when others are acting carelessly.

“’Get Your Smokey On’ is a call for each of us to be responsible whenever we use fire,” said Jim Hubbard, USDA Forest Service Deputy Chief for State & Private Forestry. “Smokey still needs your help in reducing the almost 70,000 wildfires that are human-caused each year.”

The PSAs direct audiences to visit the campaign’s website, www.smokeybear.com, where they can take a pledge and learn more about wildfire prevention. In addition to the new PSAs and website, Smokey Bear has profile pages on Facebook, Twitter, Mobile, MySpace and YouTube to further the reach of his messages to young adults:

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