Fire safety mascots have been around at least since since the 1950s, such as Smokey Bear for wildfires and Sparky the Fire Dog for structure fires. Forestín, the official mascot of the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) of Chile, was created in 1976.
Now the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) has adopted its own mascot. Captain Cal, based on a mountain lion, was introduced to the public earlier this week at the state capitol in Sacramento.
CAL FIRE hopes that the mountain lion character will help them connect with young people about fire safety, wildfires, and other topics.
“We want to make sure we get a character out there that identifies all safety hazards,” CAL FIRE information officer Richard Cordova said, “not only just wildland, but pool safety, earthquake safety, whatever message we want to push we will use Captain Cal to do that.”
Disney animators helped design Captain Cal, the mountain lion that walks erect on two legs. Of course Smokey does also.
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