A new series of Public Service Announcements featuring Smokey Bear, have been launched in the US. They’re designed to provide critical information to Americans about their role in wildfire prevention. You can watch some videos to the right of this post (click here if you cannot see them).
Since being introduced in 1944, Smokey has been recognized as a symbol of protection of America’s forests from fire. His message about forest fire prevention has helped to significantly reduce the number of acres burned annually from wildfires. During the past 10 years, an average of 6.5 million scores of land has been burned.
Living in San Diego, in Southern California, the fires have been starting again already this year, and even after last October’s massive wildfires some of the information is still surprising. Research shows that many Americans believe that lightning starts most wildfires when in fact, more than 88% of wildfires nationwide are started by humans and the majority of these fires are accidental. The principle causes are campfires left unattended, trash burning on windy days, careless discarding of smoking materials, BBQ coals and operating equipment without spark arrestors. As such, the number of misinformed is quite alarming and threatens to become a contributing factor that will impact our environment.
To combat this, the Ad Council has developed a new series of ads that include an intervention message, young adults to “Get Your Smokey On”, by practicing fire safety habits and to step in when others act carelessly.
More information can be found at www.smokeybear.com. There, users can learn fire prevention tips, take a pledge to practice fire safety, watch videos, view classic Smokey images, and follow larger wildfire status on a US map. They have a Facebook Group too.