Create a Smokey Bear Jack O’Lantern

Would you like to have Smokey Bear looking out at your trick or treaters from a Halloween Jack O’Lantern?  Here’s how, thanks to the Virginia Department of Forestry:
Print this stencil, which looks like this, below:

smokey stencil halloween

Then:

Option #1

  1. Cut out the “black pieces” from the stencil sheet, using an x-acto knife or similar tool.
  2. Tape stencil sheet onto pumpkin.
  3. Use a fine-line marker and draw the image ‘through the holes” onto the pumpkin.
  4. Cut these pieces away from the pumpkin.

Or, Option #2

  1. Tape the stencil onto the pumpkin.
  2. Using a pin or other sharp tipped tool “pin-prick” the edge of all the black portions of the stencil.
  3. Remove the stencil, and connect the dots/pin-pricks with a marker.
  4. Cut these pieces away from the pumpkin.

And,
5. Send us a photo of your result. (We will post some of them.)

New Smokey Bear video

Smokey Bear poster

The Advertising Council, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Association of State Foresters released today a new Smokey Bear advertising campaign. It includes the poster above, the video below, radio PSAs, and an educational DVD. The announcement is a little ahead of the Smokey Bear web site and his Facebook page, which will probably have more details later.

The video is about 8 minutes long. It is animated and is directed at children, educating them about campfire safety.

The video is pretty good, and will probably be effective for the intended audience, young children.

Sam Elliott
Sam Elliott
But I was disappointed that the voice of Smokey is no longer Sam Elliott,

who took over the role as Smokey’s voice in June, 2008 when a new series of PSAs was launched. One of Elliott’s first PSAs was cancelled after a controversy about the use of ATVs in the forest, but his voice was used in other videos. Washington D.C. radio station WMAL personality Jackson Weaver served as Smokey’s voice until his death in 1992. The voice was then silent until Elliott resurrected it in 2008.

Information about the 2009 Smokey Bear campaign.

I crushed someone’s childhood memory of Smokey Bear yesterday

On November 24 when I was working on installing the new Wildfire Fighter game on my iTouch, I exchanged a phone call and some emails with the company that produced it, and also with Chris Skaggs, the lead developer of the software. With Mr. Skaggs’ permission, here are copies of some of the emails. All were on November 24:

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From Chris, forwarded to me by someone at the company that produced the game:

My dad was a career firefighter captain in Lake Arrowhead, CA – a resort town not far from LA. And every year we went through wildfire season where some pretty massive fires ripped through those mountains. SO I grew up with a constant awareness of the risks and dangers of wildfires as they regularly threatened my home and we had to evacuate several times as fires got within a mile or two of my home. In fact, the real Smokey bear was a bear cub found in a burnt out tree after the great Bear Fire – he was found about 10 miles from my house.

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From me, to someone at the company that produced the game with whom I had been talking:

Thanks- But you might pass along to Mr. Scaggs that Smokey Bear was found in the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico.

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From someone at the company that produced the game, to Chris:

Do you have any comment? He is calling you out on smokey bear knowledge!~ You might give him an email to say hi. He wrote about you in a good way earlier today. 🙂

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From Chris to me:

Dude – I called my dad and I’ve basically been wrong my whole life. 🙂

But there’s a good reason…

I grew up right next to the Children’s Forest in the San Bernardino mountains. (http://www.sbnfa.com/chindex.php)
This site was built in the wake of the Great Bear Fire in 1970…but that fire was not named after Smokey Bear (which is what I’d always thought) but after Bear Creek and/or the nearby town of Big Bear (depending on who you ask).

There is a painting of Smokey Bear clasping the stump he was found on in that area and somewhere in my 5 year old mind I got the two stories put together and nobody ever corrected me until today…then again, I don’t know that I ever talked about it to anybody before now either…

So Mr. Gabbert appears to be spot on…and a precious childhood memory lay shattered in the ashes. 😉

BUT – all the other stuff is true…I think…pretty much… 😉

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When I asked Chris for permission to print the story, he replied:

Lol.

Feel free to print my story. Please let me know when/where I can see it. My dad would really get a kick out of that.

Smokey Bear, 2009 version

Some new new Smokey Bear fire prevention ads have been produced in the last couple of months. Here is one that was uploaded to You Tube yesterday by the Ad Council, which produces the ads.

(VIDEOS NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

The one below was put on You Tube an hour ago by the Ad Council. It is about a guy outside a diner who throws his cigarette onto the ground and is called out by someone in the diner who, like the previous ad, morphs into Smokey.

The next one was released in 2007. It features Bambi and other cutesy forest creatures. Remember it was Bambi being scared by forest fires decades ago that made the public fear ALL wildland fires and made it very difficult to conduct prescribed fires.

Has anyone else noticed that Smokey no longer calls them “forest fires”? He has switched to “wildfires”. When did that happen? In 2007 or before?

In 2008 Wildfire Today told you about a new Smokey ad featuring ATV riders that produced enough criticism that it was pulled and cancelled. An ATV organization complained that it…

“…incorrectly conveyed to the ATV rider that the best way for them to prevent wildfires was to stay at home. Instead, the ad should have encouraged the use of Forest Service-approved spark arresters and limiting travel to approved routes and areas.”

Create a Smokey Bear Jack O’Lantern

Would you like to have Smokey Bear looking out at your trick or treaters from a Halloween Jack O’Lantern?  Here’s how:

Print this stencil, which looks like this, below:

smokey stencil halloween

Then:

Option #1

  1. Cut out the “black pieces” from the stencil sheet, using an x-acto knife or similar tool.
  2. Tape stencil sheet onto pumpkin.
  3. Use a fine-line marker and draw the image ‘through the holes” onto the pumpkin.
  4. Cut these pieces away from the pumpkin.

Or, Option #2

  1. Tape the stencil onto the pumpkin.
  2. Using a pin or other sharp tipped tool “pin-prick” the edge of all the black portions of the stencil.
  3. Remove the stencil, and connect the dots/pin-pricks with a marker.
  4. Cut these pieces away from the pumpkin.

And,
5. Send us a photo of your result. (We will post some of them.)