(Sheridan, Wyo) The United States Forest Service, the Ad Council, and the National Association of State Foresters are celebrating Smokey Bear’s 73rd birthday by releasing a new, digital-first series of videos and artwork aimed at raising awareness about lesser known causes of wildfires.
The participating artists, Brian Edward Miller, Evan Hecox, Janna Mattia and Victoria Ying, portray Smokey Bear in each of their unique styles. The Smokey Bear multimedia campaign is the longest running series of PSAs in history, and the new artwork pays homage to the original posters from the 1940’s while bringing Smokey into a setting relevant to today’s children.
“Humans cause nearly 90 percent of all wildfires nationwide, which today burn hotter and longer, destroying millions of forested acres and homes; Smokey needs our help now more than ever,” U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said in a written release. “It is helpful to provide information to children and adults about the less commonly known wildfire causes such as improperly burning debris and not fully extinguishing ashes and hot coals. By bringing awareness and inspiring responsibility, we hope to show how important it is to be mindful of how everyday activities can start harmful fires.”
With all of the smoke around Sheridan County lately, and the record number of campers expected for the eclipse, it would be advisable to check out this fun new campaign with family and friends. “It’s always wildfire season somewhere in the United States, and State Foresters experience first-hand the many causes of wildfires beyond abandoned campfires—improper burning of debris, dumping hot ashes, and others. The new Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention Campaign’s creative elements will help state forestry agencies continue to educate the public in an effort to help reduce the number of human-caused wildfires,” said Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester and president of the National Association of State Foresters.