The latter part of our summer has featured a lot of warm, (hot), dry weather that’s likely encouraged many outdoor enthusiasts in our area to squeeze in—or plan to squeeze in—a little more fun in the outdoor sun before fall arrives.
But before heading into the mountains for a peaceful stretch of hiking, fishing and camping out—we need to remind you of a birthday.
Yes, it’s belated—but when it comes to our subject? Every day is this iconic fellow’s birthday.
A Birthday Wish For Fire Safety That’s Stood The Test Of Time.
He was born on August 9th, 1944 – a collaboration between the United States Forestry Service and the Ad Council to create a symbol that could unify a message of fire prevention for America. Smokey was first illustrated dousing a campfire with a pail of water—and in 1947, the slogan “Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires!” became a statement of purpose and mission that continues to this day.
And the mission hasn’t changed.
9 Out of 10 Forest Fires/Wildfires Are Still Caused By Human Beings.
If you take a moment to review the resources below, you’ll see proof of that staggering statistic. What forest fire and wildfire prevention boils down to are a set of common sense reminders that extend far beyond the creation and extinguishing of your campfire.
From choosing and preparing a proper location for a fire, to properly building, monitoring and eventually extinguishing a fire, this two-page guide from Smokey himself contains the valuable information necessary to minimize the chance of contributing to the terrible number above.
People lose their lives in wildfires every year—firefighters and residents alike.
And the economic toll is equally tragic. The annualized economic burden from wildfire is estimated to be between $71.1 billion to $347.8 billion (2016). Annualized costs are estimated to range from $7.6 billion to $62.8 billion. Annualized losses are estimated to range from $63.5 billion to $285.0 billion.
Check out this sobering literature review from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
As summertime draws to a close, please take extra care out there and remember this message from a 75-year-old American Icon:
“Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”