Deliver Benefits to the Public

Giving a hoot for Safe Kids Northwest

WASHINGTON – Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear joined forces with staff from the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest to spread the good word about all-things safety for the 10th annual Safe Kids Northwest Safety Fair in beautiful Bellingham, Washington.


Safe Kids Northwest, part of the Safe Kids Worldwide nonprofit family, works to help keep kids safe from preventable and unintentional injuries. With a fun-filled and action-packed fair full of free family activities, there was a little something for anyone looking to learn about safety.


Fire engines, police cars, rescue boats and an air medical helicopter were all on-hand during the event, hosted at the Barkley Regal Cinemas parking lot. With a bicycle skills course, a fire safety house and a bus riding practice activity, there was plenty to do and to see. Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear taught forest conservation, campfire safety, wildfire prevention and Leave No Trace principles. Staff from the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest shared information with participants on the Ten Essentials; a short list of survival items that everyone who goes into the backcountry should know about and invest in. 


The Ten Essentials are:

(1) Navigation - such as topographic forest maps stored in waterproof containers, plus a magnetic compass and optional altimeter or GPS receiver. 

(2) Sun protection - sunglasses, sunscreen for the lips and skin, a hat and clothing for sun protection. 

(3) Insulation - a jacket, hat and gloves, a rain shell and thermal underwear. 

(4) Illumination - a headlamp, flashlight and batteries. 

(5) First Aid supplies - including insect repellent. 

(6) Fire - a butane lighter and matches in a waterproof container. 

(7) Repair kit and tools - knives, a multitool, scissors, pliers, a screwdriver, a trowel/shovel, duct tape and cable ties. 

(8) Nutrition - add extra food for one additional day when you go out, but remember, dry food may save weight but it usually needs water. 

(9) Hydration - add two extra liters of water for one additional day,

(10) Emergency Shelter - a tarp, bivouac sack, space blanket, plastic tube tent, jumbo trash bags and an insulated sleeping pad.

Dinger the Bellinghamster and PFD Panda joined in the safety festivities. Along with Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear, the Bellingham Bells collegiate summer baseball team and the U.S. Coast Guard mascots educated and entertained more than 3,000 adults and children at one of the largest and most successful safety fairs in the Puget Sound area.

Group phot of four mascots
Taking time out for a group picture, the huggable and high five-able mascots of the Safe Kids Northwest Safety Fair were our very own Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear along with the Bellingham Bells baseball team's mascot Dinger the Bellinghamster and the U.S. Coast Guard's PFD Panda. USDA Forest Service photo by Colton Whitworth.
Woodsy and FS employees interact with crowd
Woodsy Owl and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Engineering Staff Officer Holly Bentz greet a curly haired young child amid the hustle and bustle of the Safety Fair. USDA Forest Service photo by Colton Whitworth.
Smokey Bear photo op
A dynamic duo, Smokey Bear waves with an outstretched arm while leaning in for a picture with the smiling and photogenic Sarah Bentz. USDA Forest Service photo by Colton Whitworth.
Photo op with Woodsy and SMokey
Woodsy Owl stands with his arms on his hips while Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Public Affairs Specialist Colton Whitworth and Smokey Bear grin and bear it during the fun-filled and safety themed family event. USDA Forest Service photo.