SMOKEY CELEBRATES 65TH BIRTHDAY
It was a hot, dry May in the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. Deer rested under cool trees. Fish hid along cool stream banks. Sticks and pine needles on the forest floor were so dry that they would crackle and crunch when animals or people walked on them.
One day, a person who was visiting the forest was careless with fire. No one knows if he dropped a lit match, or left his campfire burning, or forgot to crush out a cigarette. But everyone knows what did happen next. The little spark, caused by one person, quickly became a huge wildfire.
The animals, birds, and fish tried to escape the fire. Some could not escape. Even in streams, fish choked on ash from the fire. Many firefighters worked for five days to put the wildfire out.
When the fire was finally out, the firefighters found a frightened bear cub clinging to a burned tree. Bits of the cub’s fur and his paws had been burned in the fire. The firefighters took care of the bear cub until his injuries were all healed. They named the little bear “Smokey.”
Smokey Bear became a living symbol of wildfire prevention. He travels around the country, telling boys and girls how to prevent wildfires.
BE SMART Show your commitment to wildfire prevention.
Take the “Get Your Smokey On” Wildfire Pledge
I pledge : WHENEVER I GO OUTDOORS
* 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 smoking materials.
* To be aware of my surroundings and 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.
Just to seal the deal, they invite you to sign the Get Your Smokey On Pledge at www.smokeybear.com.
Courtesy National Association of State Foresters, www.smokeybear.com