Smokey Bear has to be one of my all-time favorite things.
I love his love of nature and of course his love of animals. If you know me at all, you know that I am a sucker – a bleeding heart. Especially when it comes to furry creatures, it doesn’t even matter what kind. And honestly, they do not have to be furry. I love our pet snake as much as I love our dogs and cats. I told you – sucker.
SO for me to see, think, or hear about all of the wildfires that are going on in 7 different states, it makes me sad. Because not only are people losing their homes, and their lives, so are all of the wonderful creatures of nature. The forest is our happy place. We are always outside, time and weather allowing. And living in Arkansas, there is no shortage of places you can go to enjoy the forest.
For 72 years now (Happy Birthday, Smokey!) – Smokey Bear and his anti-fire campaigns have rung through our minds and our hearts. Everyone who thinks of a forest fire or a wild fire thinks immediately of Smokey Bear. And, his message has never been wrong – ever! WE are the only ones who can prevent forest fires, wild fires, and even fires around our homes. Sure, Mother Nature plays a hand in some of those – but generally, it is human error or carelessness that is the cause of chaos and mass destruction in the forest.
- Metal chains hanging from a moving vehicle
- Parking over tall, dry grass
- unattended debris burning
- equipment fires such as from lawnmowers, ATVs, power equipment
- unattended campfires
- carelessly discarding fireplace or BBQ ashes
Wildfires can have a devastating effect on the environment.
Uncontrolled blazes fueled by weather, wind, and dry underbrush, wildfires can burn acres of land—and consume everything in their paths—in mere minutes. Not to mention, if the area you love to explore, camp, or hike is destroyed by a wildfire, you will be losing a place where you and your family build memories.
Fall is our favorite time for outdoor activities. We love to camp and hike. We also love to build fires. We might be in the back yard, camping, hiking, on the river, or even in our own living room – no matter where it is, a fire is nostalgic to us this time of year. One thing that is super important to us as parents is to teach our kids the importance of fire safety. And I don’t mean being safe around the fire, I mean being safe WITH the fire.
Nature, the forest, our parks and trails – these are all an immensely important part of our lives. We need to take the pledge to be smart when we go outdoors. To do everything we can to preserve our beautiful forests.
I for one want to see these incredible lands preserved for my children and for their children.