Rise from the Ashes with Smokey The Bear and Help Prevent Forest Fires

As a young child, I absolutely loved camping with my family. There is absolutely nothing in this world more enjoyable than sitting around a campfire with those you love and just enjoying the sounds of nature around you and the crackling of the fire as you roast marshmallows a golden brown.


My dad taught my brother and I at a young age to never leave a campfire unattended, and to always make sure that the fire was completely out before leaving it. To make sure that there were no hot ashes and dying embers left behind.

A campfire can be one of the best parts of camping, or provide necessary warmth to hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts. Unlike many natural disasters, most wildfires are caused by people—and can be prevented by people, too! Right now, a wildfire burning out of control in mountains and foothills east of Los Angeles has forced authorities to order three school districts to cancel classes due to heavy smoke and dangerous conditions.

The time for this message has never been more important than it is right now!

The new “Rise from the Ashes” campaign, created by the Ad Council and NASF, uses wildfire ashes as an artistic medium to illustrate the devastation caused by wildfires and highlight lesser known wildfire starts:

  • Improperly extinguished fire pit
  • Dumping ashes from a BBQ/grill
  • Metal chains hanging from a moving vehicle
  • Parking over tall, dry grass
  • Dying embers left in a campfire
  • Fueling lanterns
  • Stoves & Heaters
  • Flammable liquids for lanterns and heaters
  • Cigarettes and Matches
  • Burning yard waste in windy conditions

Millions of wildland acres will burn unintentionally this year. Much of it because most people are unaware of many things that can actually start a wild fire – things that most people would never think of.

Rise from the Ashes with Smokey The Bear #OnlyYou #SmokeyBearHug

Although progress has been made, accidental, human-caused wildfires remain one of the most critical environmental issues affecting the U.S. Smokey’s message is as relevant today as it was in 1944 and he continues to have an incredible impact on our country.

Although most of us don’t behave this way intentionally, each year we learn of devastating wildfires caused by careless behavior which can impact millions of acres of forest and thousands of homes. Although four out of five wildfires are started by people, nature is usually more than happy to help fan the flames.

Teach lesser known causes of forest fires in the new Rise from The Ashes Smokey Bear PSA #OnlyYou #SmokeyBearHug

The time is NOW! “Education is a critical part of reducing the number of unwanted, human-caused wildfires we experience every year,”- U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Jim Hubbard.

Please – get the word out and remind your friends and family! If you’re like me, you want to be sure that these beautiful national parks and forests are around for our children and our grandchildren. Share this message, your own camping tips, and fire prevention methods on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SmokeyBearHug and #OnlyYou! And if you tag @smokey_bear on Twitter – he may just tweet you back!

Remember, it is up to YOU and ME to prevent forest fires!

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  1. California has had it so bad this year. There are currently 3 fires burning around us, luckily for us far away but the air has been full of smoke for weeks. I wish people would be more careful. We have lost so much precious land. There were two fires a few weeks before these current ones that burned up so many of my favorite camping spots and it will be years before we can enjoy them again.

    • My youngest son was watching the news with me the other night and saw the smoke from the wild fires on television. He had not heard the beginning part of the newscast and he asked me “who set off an atomic bomb” because of all the smoke that was filling the sky. Sad that he thought it was from an atomic bomb and even sadder that all those lands are destroyed for generations to come until they can be re-planted and hopefully begin to bounce back again without another tragedy gutting our beautiful countryside.

      • I know how he feels. When the fire north of us started I first thought it was a bomb. This was the picture I took 5 days ago when it started amd it’s still burning.

        • Oh wow Crisstina … sorry the image didn’t upload. I had to change the commenting system slightly because Disqus was importing duplicate and triplicate comments and making me crazy lol. I would be in a perpetual state of depression if I lived in California where the wild fires are always happening – that would just literally kill me being the tree lover that I am.

  2. I have been camping for at least 30 years. My husband and I used to camp, and over the years it grew to a group of 12 adults and children. We always had a good time, even through the mishaps,and left out sites responsibly.

    • I am a firm believer that common sense plays a huge factor in preventing forest fires as well. Thank you for leaving your campsites in a responsible manner for the next family to enjoy. As my Nana used to say all the time, “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” 🙂

  3. i totally agree with everything u said above. when i was younger we loved everything there is to camping and roasting marshmellows,but we were also taught the dangers.and always put out our campfire.and it seems like nowadays people arent taking the time to teach their kids what u need to know w camping,etc. everyone needs to have these conversations,especially if you have seen the aftermath of what a fire does to a community,great blog keep on posting

    • Thanks so much Gina! I agree, I don’t think parents always take the time to teach their kids what they’ve been taught – I know I’m horrible about that. The life lessons that my parents taught me just seem like “second nature” sometimes and I forget that my kids don’t *automatically know this stuff* and that they need to be taught, the same that I was. My parents did a lot of teaching by example so I’m always working to be a good role model for my kids (doesn’t always work out that way ha ha ha) and to remember to tell them these second nature things instead of just assuming that they should already know. Plus, being a former Girl Scout and having done plenty of badge earning exercises helps too!

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