There, tightly gripping to a charred tree limb was a terrified and badly burned little cub bear shaking with fright and in pain. The firefighters carefully took hold of him and helped him down from the limb. What was once a pristine forest was now burnt and twisted beyond recognition. This place of refuge was once the only home the cub knew; now the forest and surrounding wild-lands harbored no wildlife at all. The forest fire burnt for 5-days before it was finally brought under control by the brave souls who put their life on the line in order to contain a blaze that could have lasted for weeks.
A spark that grew into a firestorm destroyed over 17,acres of the Lincoln National Forest and grasslands.
Along with the forest and wild-lands, the natural watershed and its ability to store water in its lakes and ponds were badly damaged as well as polluted by the abundance of ash. The wildlife habits that had endured for generations where gone. The beauty and recreational benefits for visitors to this region of Lincoln National Forest were burned out.
Back in safe haven the poor, little; bear cub was treated for his wounds and burns by a veterinarian and assisted by wardens from the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. His burns and wounds healed quickly under their loving care, even his fur grew back. It was not such a love between the rangers and the cub bear, the cub had sharp teeth and bit the rangers an awful lot. The little cub might have felt more comfortable with the females of our species.
A Few Bear Facts …when a bear is removed from its familiar surrounding they will persistently try to return to their home habitat. Any bear cub found abandoned should be reported to the local Wildlife Agency immediately. Do not attempt to rescue the cub yourself, a mamma bear may likely be close by, therefore do not consider the cub to be an orphan just yet. Without a natural mother, healthy cubs must be properly cared for in order to return them safely to the wilds one day, bears with disabilities must be placed in zoos or other proper facilities, unfortunately the wild can no longer be their home.
ABR is dedicated to the care of unfortunate bear cubs needing their help. The little cub that miraculously survived the forest fire was now known as Smokey Bear, the kids loved him and the adults adored him and admired his innocent bravery. Everyone heard his harrowing tale on the radio or saw him on television.
Without a mother to teach him the ways of the wild, he was given a home in the Washington Zoo so that all of his fans could come and visit him. As he grew, so did the unyielding symbolic Smoky Bear icon, the protector of the forest telling folks about the dangers of forest and wildfires.
Forest Fires devastate wildlife and their habitats as well as people and their homes.
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It destroys lumber meant for construction, furnishings, paper meant for education, books and newspapers as well as many other uses. Wild Fires pollute the natural water supply and puts harmful ash particles in the air we breathe. It scorches the grass that feeds grazing animals. It puts the lives of forest firefighters, rangers and wildlife, as well as all those who assist them along with the visitors who frequent our natural and wild areas in mortal danger.
The heroic Smokey Bear lived at the Washington Zoo enjoying the good bear life as a national celebrity until , his legacy lives on. The symbol of Smokey Bear and his courageous tale reminds us to be responsible for our actions when enjoying the beauty and wonders of our forests and wildlands by; making sure to only discard our matches after they have cooled; that every camper safely put out their camp fires and charcoal fires; to extinguish completely any and all tobacco and other products that might produce a flame or amber, and never leave a debris fire unattended.
Always consider all the possibilities that might create a wildfire that may not only destroy a forest, it may also take your own life and others. A night campfire unattended can overwhelm sleeping campers before they can even react. His symbol stands as a call for taking personal responsibility in our own lives in regards to all fire prevention.
The vision of a national fire prevention program though started in the spring of during World War II. On August 9, the Smokey Bear campaign was launched.
Disney lent the Forest Fire Prevention campaign the use of his creation on a poster for one year. This was a great promotion for the campaign and excellent movie exposure for Disney. Though Smokey is a brownish colored bear he is of the black bear species that is commonly found in the Great Smoky Mountains as well as most wilderness area of the continental United States.
Fire is a threat to all that lives and grows; awareness and prevention is the most effective defense against wildfires. Foot, Cone and Belding, now called Draftfcb, is the volunteer advertising agency responsible for developing the creative work for the campaign while carrying on the duty into its third generation of producers, credited with maintaining the longest running, most successful public service campaign in the nation. Smokey Bear has an expanding presence and message on the world wide Internet.
Educational materials are available for download on SmokyBear. These activities include children designing their own Smokey Bear wildfire prevention poster. After completion of the booklet the children that send in the enclosed postcard will receive a badge and certificate. Fire prevention games, the Smokey Bear song and downloads of coloring sheets are also available online.
Educating our children as the program does assures a responsible attitude towards wildfire prevention, young awareness will continue into adult awareness. Upon his visits Smokey will share with the class a short Wildfire Prevention Program presented by a uniformed employee.
Smokey only makes personal appearances for events that feature or include a wildfire prevention theme. Being a protected national treasure in his own right, there are guidelines for his personal appearances that must be acknowledged. This dedicated public service towards wildfire prevention and safety comes to you courtesy of the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council - your tax dollars doing good work. In an Act of Congress passed to take Smokey Bear out of public domain and place him under the control of the Secretary of Agriculture protecting the trademark.
Wildfire experts understand that most human caused wildfires are started unintentionally, an accident that can have devastating results. A fire can quickly get out of control especially when all the surrounding elements are prime for conditions. With of without intention, wildfires happen due to carelessness more than any other act or natural cause.
Wildfires result in destroyed wildlands and forest, private property, homes and can devastate millions of acres of natural resources and agricultural goods as well as human and wild life. It destroys young trees as well as old growth forests that are hundreds of years old, mostly due to carelessness.
Fire has been a useful tool to mankind since the beginning of known time. It gives us warmth, cooks our food, breaks down and reforms matter, and is the predecessor of the illumination we need to lighten darken periods or unlit interiors. It is also by far one of the greatest destructive powers of nature when improperly handled.
We use fire as a tool knowing it is capable of good as well as evil. Normal functions such as leaf burning, debris stacks or barrel burning along with large burn piles can be the makings of a possible wildfire. These acts are considered illegal in some areas of the nation. Any unattended burning increases the potential for wildfires. Mom lives in rural western Kentucky just outside a little town whose claim to fame is that the Jesse James Gang robbed their town bank once. It was such a memorable occasion that they painted a giant artist rendition of the robbery on the lobby wall of the bank, need I say more.
Now back to mom, just outside of town living in a modest neighborhood surrounded by open fields and wooded hills, mom often burned some of her garbage in a barrel in the back of her one-acre property, she knew from her rural upbringing to keep fire away from the house, plus it might make something dirty. Now she had garbage service yet dad who passed away many moons ago also burnt trash in a barrel and I guess she just wanted to carry on the tradition. Fortunately she lived just outside the city limits and a fire crew rushed right to the scene.
Wildfires can race across an open field with or without wind assistance. This could have been a major catastrophe had the fire crew not arrived so quickly. Mom was grateful for their speedy and courageous help and not so happy about the fine and bill the Fire Department sent her. The site was designed for homeowners, visitors, wildfire prevention professionals, Forest Service employees and volunteers. Also included is information on the severity levels in your state with rules and regulations for debris burning and how to protect your home against wildfire.
Educational materials are available in the area of fire prevention. Nationwide, 9 out of 10 wildfires are avoidable when proper care is taken and foolish behavior is sidelined.
Accidents can happen yet they are a poor excuse for the destruction wildfires cause. Some kids grow up and want to be a firefighter. Some boys and girls dream of one day becoming a Forest Ranger, the combination of both heroic firefighter and guardian of the forest and wildlands is reflected in the image of Smokey Bear, the icon of wildfire prevention and safety. Fighting these dangers, living in hardships, separated from family, friends and loved ones, are the brave souls who defend our nation from the threats of wildfires.
Not only are they protecting rural communities reducing personal loss, they are simultaneously fighting to save our natural resources and treasures.
These skilled individuals have earned a reputation for being among the best in the world as wildfire fighters. Wildland Firefighters are not only members of an elite profession; they are part of a well-managed corps committed to service. The Crews as they are called are made up of levels, skills and ranks. When a wildfire is called in, an extensively trained and experienced Fire Manager analyzes the situation carefully to determine the best course of action, developing a suppression strategy while deciding what kind of firefighters and equipment they will need to implement.
If firefighters and equipment are called into service the assignment usually goes to Hand Crews consisting of 20 men and women. Then there are the Hotshot Crews , highly skilled and specially trained in suppression tactics. Like a military Special Forces group, the Hotshot Crews are usually the first to confront wildfires when they first start. They also specialize in suppressing big fires that are most threatening along with high-risk areas.
Engine Crews contain 3 to 10 firefighters, using to gallons of water, and hundreds of feet of hose to directly attack wildfires. There are engines that carry special equipment to spray foam and chemicals on vegetation, homes and other structures for fire resistance. Smoke Jumpers are firefighters that parachute from planes into remote and inaccessible areas and are often supported by para-cargo drops of personal gear, food, water and specialized equipment to help suppress fires.
All of these specialized firefighting crews are supported by trained expert Incident Management Teams whose primary responsibility is to develop and implement strategies to suppress wildfires. The team is also responsible for providing food, equipment, transportation and other goods and services to the firefighters on the front line. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways to fight a wildfire, although today we have access to advance equipment improvements made for wildfire fighting.
Computer technologies, fire mapping, satellite imagery, accurate weather forecast, fire behavior modeling, improvements in aircraft, water-delivering systems, fire-retardant chemicals and firefighting clothing have greatly increased the ability to fight wildfires. Some of the equipment used to assist wildland firefighters are, Bulldozers and Tractor Plows for clearing vegetation for firelines, cutting access roads to the scene of the fire.
Air Tankers dump thousands of gallons of water or chemical retardants on or ahead of advancing wildfire. Helicopters carry not only crew members and supplies some are fitted with tanks or suspended buckets delivering loads, much like the air tankers. The helicopters also use the Bambi Bucket, a collapsible bucket slung below the copter in order to dip water from a variety of water sources for fire suppression.
Personal equipment for firefighters are; protective nomex pants and shirts; gloves, hard hat, goggles, face shield, and leather boots.