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Joint operation educates children about fire safety

students learn fire safetyStudents learn fire safetySPRINGVILLE, Calif. — Forest Service and CAL FIRE joined forces this winter to offer the traditional Smokey Bear school programs, teaching fire safety to thousands of children throughout Tulare County. The overall theme is a story of Smokey Bear and his mission to prevent unwanted fires, but Smokey needs all the help he can get. 

All students are taught to never play with matches or lighters, and what to do if they find these items just laying around. Older children hear additional messages such as “Stop, Drop, and Roll” if clothes are on fire or to call 911 from a safe distance to report a fire.  Each class enjoys a personal visit from Smokey Bear and his helpers from the Forest Service and CAL FIRE.

Each class receives material to take home to their parents about fire safety.  These programs are successful in teaching children the basics.  It encourages children to talk to their parents about fire safety at home, and while visiting the forest. 

Many of the children remember this program as they get older.  “I often encounter fourth and fifth graders at community events who say to me, I remember you, you’re Smokey’s helper,” said Brenda Diaz, Fire Prevention Officer on the Western Divide Ranger District. 

The Sequoia National Forest appreciates the volunteers, teachers, and parents who help us deliver these messages and keep our children safe from the danger of fire.  Thank You!