Prevent Wildfires with Smokey Bear

Today's fire seasons are on average 78 days longer than in the 1970s and are projected to grow hotter, more unpredictable, and more expensive in the coming years. In 2015, the United States experienced 68,151 wildfires and more than 10 million acres burned. While sometimes caused by lightning and other causes, nearly nine out of 10 wildfires are human-caused.

Wildfire refers to any unwanted, unplanned, damaging fire and is one of the most powerful natural forces known to people. Here are some tips and resources that you can use to help prevent wildfires in your state:

Equipment Maintenance
Today most equipment requires the use of a spark arrestor. A spark arrestor is a mechanical device that traps or destroys hot exhaust particles that have been released from an internal combustion engine. While spark arrestors are not 100% effective, they can greatly reduce the risk of starting a wildfire. Learn more about proper equipment maintenance.

Maintain and Extinguish your Campfire
If a campfire is not properly extinguished, smoldering coals and embers can reignite a fire when you aren't around. Learn the proper steps for campfire safety.

Backyard Debris Burning
When burning debris, it is critical to comply with local regulations. Weather fluctuations, such as sudden gusts of wind, could make debris burning spark a wildfire. State forestry agencies, local fire departments and other entities can help you determine if the weather is safe enough to burn. Learn about debris burning.

Purchase Smokey Bear Educational Materials
Help spread the word in your classroom, during a field trip, and throughout your community about the importance of preventing wildfires. Purchase Smokey Bear materials in the NASF Educational Materials store at stateforesters.org/store. Educator resources are also available on SmokeyBear.com.

Follow Smokey Bear on Social Media
Smokey Bear, the national wildfire prevention, shares tips and wildfire news on social media. Follow Smokey on Twitter, Facebook and use the hashtag #smokeybearhug to share your wildfire prevention story.