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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Smokey Bear help couple win big $$$$

A brief break from hibernation to tell you the following.

SMOKEY THE BEAR ON MILLION DOLLAR MONEY DROP LASTNIGHT

Smokey Tһе Bear wаѕ tһе rіɡһt аnѕwеr on Million Dollar Money Drop last night. After wagering mοѕt of tһеіr income on tһе wеƖƖ-knοwn bear tһаt reminds us аƖƖ to “Remember… OnƖу YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires”, tһе integrate won аnԁ went on to tһе subsequent level. Tһе sixth qυеѕtіοn on the Million Dollar Money Drop wаѕ – wһісһ of tһеѕе promotion icons wаѕ tһе oldest: Ronald McDonald, tһе Trix Rabbit, or Smokey Bear. Tһе winning аnѕwеr wаѕ Smokey Bear, wһο іѕ 66 years ancient. Tһе Trix Rabbit іѕ 53 years ancient, аnԁ Ronald McDonald іѕ the childish 47 years ancient.
Pretty cool.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a great new year
Smokey and friends

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Year End Greating

Smokey is going to take some time off for the holidays and in preparation for a"long winters nap"! Hope you and all your family has a great New Year.

Please as you enjoy and share time with family/friends always keep in mind what you can do to stay safe from wild and structural fires. And as you prepare for the new year and those resolutions how about making a resolution we all can live with... Repeate after Smokey ... "For 2011 I make a promise to ALWAYS BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE "

I am going to leave you with this bit of news from the web today as a reminder that winter can be a dangerous time for wildfires in some areas of the country, like our friends in Texas.

Wildfire risk high for much of winter

Local officials urge residents to stay aware

National Weather Service meteorologists and Texas Forest Service officials recently gathered in College Station to discuss drought conditions across Texas and what it means for the possibility of winter fire outbreaks. The meeting concluded with the two groups predicting a severe wildfire season for at least the next three months.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

wildfires around the world

Not everyone is enjoying the colder and wetter weather here in the east.

As Many as 40 Killed in Israeli Wildfire

Smoke from a wildfire rises in the sky as seen from the northern Israeli community of Kiriyat Bialik, near Haifa. A massive forest fire that scorched part of northern Israel killed scores of people Thursday, officials said.

 Fort Carson brush fire 75 percent contained

Colorado Springs firefighters have a brush fire that has burned about 50 acres on the southern tip of Fort Carson overnight about 75 percent contained.

Firefighters Battling Brushfire in Brooks County TX

BROOKS COUNTY - Firefighters were struggling to get the upper hand on a massive brushfire burning north of Hidalgo County.

More than 1,500 acres have burned since the fire started Wednesday afternoon. It's taking firefighters from more than two dozen agencies to make sure nearby ranch and farm buildings are spared.

Crews tackle brush fire in New Tampa

A 15- to 20-acre brush fire in New Tampa is under control, a Tampa Fire Rescue official said.
The fire didn't threaten homes or injure anyone, said Capt. Bill Wade, a fire rescue spokesman.
The fire was at the dead end of Kennan Street off Cross Creek Boulevard in the Live Oak area of New Tampa, Wade said.
Along with Tampa Fire, the Pasco County Fire Department and the Florida Division of Forestry worked the brush fire

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

smokey and santa

With this shot of colder weather, rain and in some places snow I thought you might like the following coloring sheet. As the cold weather comes please remember all the ways you can help prevent wildfires.
One of the big ones is proper ash disposal if you heat with wood. Make sure your ashes are COLD before disposing of. Its best if you have a metal comtainer you can put the ashes in for several and I mean several days before dumping. Even then make sure they are cold you have drowned with water. Hot ashes stay hot for many days.



Please pass along the coloring sheet to those who might enjoy and also send along a fire prevention message.
THANKS


Friday, November 26, 2010

Give Thanks AND Help to YOUR Fire Departments and Firefighters

Fighting wildfires takes the work of many many dedicated firefighters and emergency response agencies. The volunteers, the paid departments, the USFS, Park Service and VA Dept of Forestry work side by side and with many other agencies to numerous to mention all trying to protect US our homes and natural resources.
They along with me (Smokey Bear) need YOUR help. Woods ARSON is a crime. A few years ago Kentucky ran a poster that said "Arson it Costs, Cripples and Kills". Arson does cost thousands and thousands of dollars to fight and puts your lives and the lives of the firefighters in danger every time they respond to the call for help.
What can you do?
KEEP AN EYE OUT for ant suspicious activity especially in those areas where past arson suspected fires occured. REPORT any suspecious activity to local authorities. If you see a wildfire CALL 911.

THANKS !!!



i     r    e  s

 Firefighters Battle Three Fires Near Stanley VA 
The Stanley Fire Department and the Virginia Department of Forestry are battling three mountain fires on Alshire Hollow Road east of Stanley.

Arson Likely Cause of Stanley Forest Fire Stanley, Va.
Two Fires Burning in Virginia National Forest
November 23, 2010
Trails are closed in areas of the George Washington National Forest in Page County, Virginia where two forest fires have burned more than 600 acres.
The U.S. Forest Service says a fire at Burners Gap grew over the weekend from 350 acres to about 560 acres. As of Sunday, the fire was 75 percent contained.
A smaller fire about 3 miles northeast at Kennedy Peak is about 75 percent contained. That fire has burned 83 acres.
Joe Lehen with the Virginia Department of Forestry told The Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg that authorities believe humans accidentally started both fires.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Smokey wishes you all a very happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks for all your help preventing wildfires and your helping to educate all those folks out there about the importance of my messages.
Only You Can Prevent Wildfires
Always Be Careful With Fire

Please enjoy the coloring sheet, I'd love to see your finished coloring sheet.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Wildfire Season in the East is not over yet!!

FL   Family flees with dogs, Bible as Scottsmoor brush fire approaches
SCOTTSMOOR — Donna Watts smelled the smoke outside her camper parked in a secluded section of woods off Interstate 95 but didn't think much of it, believing it was from a cookout at a nearby hunting or fishing camp.But when she heard a commotion outside, she knew something was wrong. That's when she discovered that the woods around her were on fire.The fire started Tuesday morning when a fire pit got out of control in high winds. By late Wednesday, it had burned 615 acres west of I-95, from Scottsmoor north to the Brevard-Volusia county line. Around 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Florida Division of Forestry achieved 100 percent containment of the blaze.

NJ    Brush fire causes power outage
The brush fire was noticed shortly after 11:15 a.m. on Ridgewood Road in an undeveloped area in between Temple Beth Or and The Washington Grand Senior Complex, said Police Officer Heather Castronova, the department's spokeswoman.
After the building was evacuated, firefighters vented it and quickly restored power, she said.
A preliminary investigation has revealed that the cause of the fire was likely accidental, she said.


VA    Montgomery Co. brush fires ruled arson
Investigators think the two fires are related.
November 17, 2010|By Web Staff
MONTGOMERY CO., Va. — Two brush fires responsible for burning almost 450 acres in Montgomery County have been ruled arson.
According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, more than ten homes and several other buildings were threatened in a fire just west of Blacksburg.  It burned about 240 acres off of
Prices Fork Road
.
 
Tip of the Blog



Arsonists we've got your number and were NOT going to put up with it anymore! You better watch out because we looking for you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Great short Video on Firewise.




This takes a few moments (about a min) to load but is well worth the wait.

video

Check out http://www.firewisevirginia.org/ for lots more info that will help you become more Firewise! The link below akes you to the simple online test talked about in the video above. Thanks to WDBJ 7 in Roanoke and Chris Thomsen with the VA Dept Of Forestry.

http://www.dof.virginia.gov/fire/firewise-hazard-test.shtml


Monday, November 15, 2010

Smokey trivia

Did you know that the two young cubs that are seen with Smokey in many pictures were NOT Smokey’s and Goldie’s (they never had "children") but they did have names.
Do you know their names?
Check below the picture for them….



According to Rudy Wendelin’s daughter"Dad named the cubs, long after he had retired, as

Cindy -short for cinders and Sam- short for Uncle Sam."

Elizabeth C. Wendelin
So there you have it their names are Cindy and Sam !

Sunday, November 14, 2010

As the beautiful fall colors begin fading and the leaves begin piling up on the forest floor it does not take many drying days to create wildfire hazards. We must stay alert to these changing conditions and do all we can to help prevent wildfires. Review some of the earlier posts and visit state forestry web pages for tips. Start with ours http://www.dof.virginia.gov/fire/index.shtml

 Wildfires in the news!

Firefighters across Southern Indiana battling two large wildfires

From the sky, the fires look impossible to control, but on the ground crews were busy digging fire breaks and getting water on what they could to stop the wildfires from spreading.

From Highway 111 in Floyd County people took in a sight you’re more likely to see out west.  “It’s getting pretty close to some houses back there.  We’ve been down here twenty minutes and it’s definitely getting a lot worse,” said New Albany resident Marty Schindler.


Wildfire in gorge is contained, but destruction, hazards remain

Wildfire left 1,650 acres scarred, vulnerable





Local crews contain Price Mountain fire
Thursday, November, 11, 2010; 11:17 PM
Forest fires that burned up several hundred acres of Prices Fork Mountain Tuesday have been contained, and crews are currently working to prevent additional damage.







Tip Of The Blog
Wildfires: Is your home at risk?Take this test to find out.
Is your home at high, moderate or low risk?
November 11, 2010|By Jean Jadhon | WDBJ-TV Anchor/Reporter
If a fire were burning near your home, how would it fare?
It's from the Virginia Department of Forestry and only takes a few moments.


Friday, November 12, 2010

There are 2 Wildlfire Prevention and Education Teams currently in place
One in LA and another in TX.

Check out http://www.southernwildfireprevention.sref.info/

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Hunting

Smokey is busy in Texas even with some recent raing the winds of TX have dried things out and the firefighters are begining to be busy once again.



The above poster was developed to be handed out to hunters on the National Forests tommorrow during the opening day of hunting season. The interagency wildfire prevention and education team has been working hard to develope a communication plan for various fire messages.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Think Thanks and Please



Just a short message today, Its pretty simple.. Think, Thanks and Please are 3 of the most powerful words in the English language. And when they are used by someone who is and can be trusted in a honest and meaningful way they are even more powerful.
Who can be more honest and trusted than Smokey Bear?
Smokey wants to ask you to PLEASE be careful with all fire, THINK before you start any fire and THANKS for listening!
Remember ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES.

Have a great day.

I might be unable to post anything for the next few days. Please keep checking and let your friends know about this site.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend wildfire activity and Tomorrow is election day .. YOU CAN…

Here in VA we have been really fortunate recently with sporadic rains, good wildfire prevention and an aware public that wildfire starts have been minimal even over a Halloween weekend that traditionally sees an increase in fires. Many other states can not say the same.
Headlines from newspapers this morning



(NC) Discarded fireplace ashes were believed to be the cause of a fire that broke out in the woods near Shulls Mill Road on Sunday afternoon.
(SC) Three house fires and two brush fires break out around the same time in one neighborhood early Sunday morning.
(GA) Wildfire continues to burn on Lookout Mtn Georgia Forestry officials say personnel will be back on the scene Monday morning at daybreak with planes and rake crews.
(NC) Strong afternoon winds have flared up a one-acre fire on the Blue Ridge Parkway
(TX) A 50-acre forest fire has forced the Trinity County Sheriff's Office to evacuate homes near the blaze.
(WV) Fire crews battled fires throughout the weekend in a variety of spots across southern West Virginia.
(KY) A total of 19 agencies help fight the blaze.



Tomorrow is election day .. YOU CAN…
It doesn’t matter if you’re red or blue what does matter is only YOU CAN prevent wildfires. Please get out and vote, every vote counts and YOU CAN make a difference. As you leave your home take a look around (inside and out) and see if there are anything YOU CAN elect to do that will make your home more safe.

Today's Tip of the Blog
Todays tip is not really a tip but a thought for you. Below is a re-print of a response to a wildfire story. PLEASE take time to read it. And THANKS for your support!


It takes a lot to fight fires, especially when you volunteer, and that is what the surrounding departments are. Volunteers leave their own lives behind and put their own priorities on hold to make someone else's life a priority and help them. I am a volunteer firefighter myself in the surrounding area, and I always hear how firemen weren't fast enough, or how they didn’t like the fact that something couldn’t be saved. To most it just sounds like we are just spraying water to put out a fire, but in the true reality, we have to know how to read wind conditions, read smoke (whether it is woods, a home, a car, etc). Wind conditions are very vital, because it can turn a fire into a new direction right before your eyes and you not even realize it. There is one thing people should realize, yes a home is of precious value, the items inside the home are valuable and priceless, but most has a price tag on it in which we as humans do not. We can replace a home, toys, food, clothes, and although old family heirlooms cannot be saved (memories can). I was not able to be at that fire last night but I was at our station making sure our firefighters had a warm meal to come back to when they returned from fighting the fire. There are many jobs for firemen, mine is fighting fires, making sure our firemen keep hydrated to be able to fight a fire, caring for animals at fire scenes and aiding them, and making sure that our firemen are taken care of. It is a big job, but one thing is for sure, being able to fight a fire and have the knowledge it takes is of great reward. If you want to learn about fire fighting, or become a volunteer in your area, please go to your local fire station for an application. We need all the help we can get. Remember to report fires as soon as you spot them. Thank you for supporting your local fire dept.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween and Woods Arson

Sure are glad we got the rain we did over the last 2 weeks HOWEVER its been a couple of days and today is going to be another low humidity day but the winds will be light. It is a fire day as they say and so will tomorrow.

BE Vigiliant! Most fires are accidental BUT it is those criminal acts of Woods Arson that are of greatest concern especially around Halloween.



 

Tip Of The Blog

Stop Woods Arson

Cigarette LighterWoods arson (also called forest arson or wildland arson) is a common term for deliberately burning forests, grasslands, or brush without the owner’s permission.
It is a leading cause of wildfire in Virginia and the southern region.
Most cases of woods arson are generally felonies under many state laws.

Who Loses When Woods Arson Occurs?

Everybody loses when wildland arsonists strike:
  • consumers pay more for the thousands of products made from forest materials,
  • taxpayers foot the bill for suppressing the fires,
  • jobs are often eliminated when the resource is reduced, and
  • it is common for families living in wooded areas and grasslands lose their homes and possessions.

Preventing Woods Arson

Most state forestry offices and local fire departments have established arson hotlines, so citizens can call to report woods arson. IN VIRGINIA YOU ARE incouraged to CALL 911.
Please give as much information as you have available, to include:
  • Location and time of the fire
  • Name of person responsible, if known
  • Description of persons observed at the scene
  • Description of any vehicles observed at the scene
  • Any other pertinent information
THANKS

Friday, October 29, 2010

Have a Happy and SAFE Halloween from Smokey

Happy Halloween and a tip of the blog ... thats all!




 

Tip of the Blog

Tips for Wildfire Season or anytime from Verizon Wireless

 

One I never thought of before but is a very good Tip.

 

Verizon Wireless urges residents to prepare emergency communication plans and offers consumers these tips:
·       Keep wireless phone batteries fully charged – in case local power is lost – well before warnings are issued.
·       Have additional charged batteries and car-charger adapters available for back-up power.
·       Store emergency phone numbers in your phone – police, fire, and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers.
·       Keep phones, batteries, chargers and other equipment in a dry, accessible location.
·       Distribute wireless phone numbers to family members and friends.
·       Forward your home phone calls to your wireless number if you evacuate.
·       Be ready to communicate by brief text messages as needed – it conserves capacity on wireless networks so they're more available to emergency agencies.

Many cell phone companies work to maintain and expand service rapidly to support first responders during local and regional disasters.  For example Verizon Wireless during the 2009 Station Fire in CA, the company deployed a wireless network enhancer on wheels along with a portable generator at the fire command center. The enhancer's 40-foot tall antenna expanded wireless coverage and capacity for the crews fighting the remote blaze.  


Instructions  to forward calls

Things You'll Need:

  • Cell phone
  • Land line
  1. Power on both of your pones to get ready to forward calls.
  2. Make sure you have the call forwarding feature on your land line. If not, you will have to add it as part of a bundle or package or just as a separate feature. You can do this online or by calling the phone company if you have time to spare.
  3. Press 72* and then your cell phone number. You might hear a few beeps. Check the number for accuracy. (Check with your phone company for exact forwarding digits, it varies by carrier).
  4. Test the line by calling the home phone and seeing if does forward to your cell phone or just sends a busy signal. If not, repeat the steps.
  5. Press 73# to take back the phone line and calls will start coming in on your home phone again.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Severe storms impact Virginia. What To Do With The Debris?


A massive storm system that set records on Tuesday in the mid-west for the lowest surface pressure ever observed in the continental United States from a non-tropical cyclone impacted Virginia yesterday.
The rain was needed BUT we sure did NOT need the damage that accompanied the storms.

Many folks will be cleaning up over the next several days / weeks.  For those who live in areas that allow burning of yard debris, Smokey has some safety tips later on in this blog. Those of you who do not want to nor are able to burn your debris there are other options.
Many localities have programs that allow you to pile the debris on the street edges so it can be picked up by waste management operations. Check with your localities for rules and regulations.

If you only have a small amount of debris and you have the room you might want to consider building a wildlife brush pile. This is NOT just a pile of brush that is created in hopes that it will be beneficial to wildlife. There are specifically built with wildlife protection in mind.


Few wildlife management practices can provide a more important part of wildlife habitat for the amount of effort as brush piles. In just a few minutes, a person may construct a place suitable for wildlife to escape from severe weather and predators, as well as a place to rest or raise their young. The main benefactor of brush piles is most often thought to be rabbits. While it is true that rabbits will readily use them, brush piles are also havens to box turtles, fence lizards, songbirds, small rodents and other mammals.
The term "brush pile" is commonly understood to be a pile of limbs arranged to permit entry of small wildlife to the exclusion of larger animals that may prey on them. Brush piles are not necessarily made of trees, limbs or brush. Scrap building lumber, wooden pallets, rocks, concrete blocks, plastic pipe, clay tiles or old culverts may also be used though some landowners prefer the "natural" appearance of brush or field stones.


Brush piles made of tree limbs or brush

Construct by placing 4 or 5 large (6" to 12" diameter) and fairly straight limbs or posts on the ground parallel to one another with about 12" spaces between each. Criss-cross similar sized and number of limbs on top. Smaller limbs should be added to the top. The final product should be 15 to 20 feet in diameter and 3 or 4 feet high.
Build this type in woodlands along woodland trails or the edges of fields.

Tip Of The Blog

If you must burn, do it safely!

·  Check with your local fire department to see if open burning is permitted or if you need a burn permit.
·  Prior to the burn, contact your local forestry office or rural fire department and tell them your plans—what time you plan to start burning, how long you plan to burn, and what (brush piles, leaves, etc.) you will burn.
·  Check the weather. Avoid burning on dry, windy days. Pick an overcast day when winds are calm and humidity is high. Try to burn before 10:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m. This is when winds are usually calmest and humidity is highest.
·  Keep brush piles small (about 5 feet by 5 feet), and burn them in open fields when snow is on the ground or in the late spring after the grass has greened up.
·  Avoid burning piles under overhanging tree limbs, utility lines or close to buildings.
·  Cover your debris pile with a waterproof tarp. After a rain, when the surrounding vegetation is wet, remove the plastic and you’ll be ready to burn. This helps reduce the chance of your fire spreading to surrounding vegetation.
·  Before you burn, gather rakes, wet burlap sacks and other firefighting tools. Have a source of water close by. This will help you take quick action should your fire start to get out of control. Call the fire department immediately should a fire escape.
·  Stay with your burn pile until it is completely extinguished. Drown ashes with water and stir them with a shovel or rake to make sure there are no hot embers left smoldering.
·  Check your fire the next day . . . just to be sure.

·  Debris will burn easier and more completely with less smoke if you wait till the debris has cured some. Using a lot of accelerant like gas or kerosene on “green fuels” just to try and get them to burn is not only DANGEROUS but inefficient. Using some dry leaves, old lumber, paper or cardboard to start your fire is much safer.

PLEASE remember what Smokey has taught us. ALWAYS BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE.

several of the photos of the storm damage as well as the one below were taken from local newspaper web pages this morning.