It’s Smokey Bear’s 60th birthday today! In honor of this ursine crusader for our forests, may we interest you in taking the “Get Your Smokey On” Wildfire Pledge? At the time of this posting, there are 37 active large wildfires across the country. And to date, almost 4 million acres of forest have burned this year alone. Although most of us have no intention of setting a devastating fire, last year 73,446 wildfires were caused by careless human behavior (as opposed to 12,261 that were caused by lightning). Astonishingly, in 2006, there was a total of 9.8 million acres burned from wildfires.
According to the Smokey Bear website, these are the most common ways in which forest fires caused by human error are started:
1. Unattended debris burning.
2. Equipment fires such as from lawnmowers, ATVs, power equipment.
4. Unattended campfires.
5. Children playing with matches or lighters.
So why not wish Smokey a happy birthday by showing your commitment to wildfire prevention? Take the Wildfire Pledge!