It's unusual for us to put guest posts up on our blog. However, our gorgeous state battles countless fires each year. I will tell you that many (many) of them are either unintentionally set and sadly, sometimes intentionally set by humans. Please, please think about what you're doing out there and report any suspicious activity. Growing up in California, Smokey Bear has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. It's my great pleasure to bring you Smokey Bear's message by Renee Kemper on sound fire-prevention advice.
Right now, California, along with 6 other states are fighting wildfire battles. Some worse than others – but all very scary and so devastating.
We have all heard the message of Smokey Bear – he has been telling us to prevent fires for 72 years now. His message is just as important now as it was back in 1944.
Smokey Bear’s message about wildfire prevention is the center of the longest running and one of the most successful PSA campaigns in our nation's history. Although progress has been made, accidental, human-caused wildfires remain one of the most critical environmental issues affecting the U.S. the Soberanes fire, in California, is a perfect example. This fire was caused by an abandoned campfire. And that one single person, who either did not know or was being careless, caused acres and acres of destruction.
Coinciding with Smokey Bear’s 72nd birthday, 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) created to help prevent wildfires nationwide by increasing awareness about less commonly known fire starts.
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.
How else can you help? Be smart when you go outdoors! Show your commitment to wildfire prevention. Join me in taking the Smokey Bear Pledge!
- To use caution and common sense before lighting any fire.
- To understand that any fire I or my friends create could become a wildfire.
- To understand and practice proper guidelines whenever I or my friends create a fire outdoors.
- To never, ever leave any fire unattended.
- To make sure any fire that I or my friends create is properly and completely extinguished before moving on.
- To properly extinguish and discard of smoking materials.
- To be aware of my surroundings and be careful when operating equipment during periods of dry or hot weather.
- To speak up and step in when I see someone in danger of starting a wildfire.