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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Smokey enjoys Spring Flowers NOT Spring Wildfires!

Virginia's Natural Resources put the wealth into our Commonwealth. The past, present, and future quality of life and economic prosperity for our citizens is permanently linked to the condition of the State's forest resources. The Virginia Department of Forestry is responsible for wildfire protection on 13.5 million acres of private and state forest land. While fire can play a beneficial role in the forest ecosystem, it can be a destructive force that endangers our natural resources, our property, and even our lives. There is a reason Smokey Bear changed his slogan to "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires" -- the destruction of land by fire has expanded beyond just the forest. "Wildfire" refers to ANY uncontrolled, outdoor fire, anywhere.
The loss of our natural resources is of dire consequence to all of us. The monetary costs are astronomical - but there is much more to lose. Beyond the common-sense functions, such as rubber for tires, lumber, shelter, and paper, trees are used for medicinal ingredients for medicines like quinine, which cured yellow fever, or anticancer drugs like Taxol from the bark of yew tree. And one large tree can provide a day's oxygen for four people. While most people consider themselves to be conscientious the numbers tell a different story. Ninety percent (90%) of all wildfires are caused by human negligence. The leading causes of human-related wildfires are:
Debris burning
Woods Arson
Careless discarding of smoking materials
Equipment operation

Spring Fire Season began in late February and goes through April. Fall Fire Season begins in late October and continues through November. But you can do your part year-round. With education and responsible practices, individuals can make a huge difference in the fight against unwanted wildfire, helping to preserve and protect our natural resources.
Putting out a wildfire is easy scientifically, remove one part of the "fire triangle" and the fire goes out. But this is a very dangerous and hard job to do. It is much easier to prevent the wildfire from starting in the first place. Remember what Smokey said ONLY YOU CAN !
Please enjoy a few clasic Smokey messages ...


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