Our six-foot, three dimensional Smokey Bear made its debut on May 13, 2003 in Bend, Oregon. Wildfires are a major problem in the country every year. Although some wildfires are caused by lightning, the majority of wildfires are caused by humans. Smokey Bear has served as a public reminder for over 60 years (beginning in 1944) about what each of us can do to help prevent the devastation of wildfires. Our Smokey Bear products and Fire Danger Signs assist in promoting the fire prevention message.
Passion Drives Our Business
We do this because we love the great outdoors. It's why we chose to have our headquarters in beautiful Bend, Oregon. The area is at risk of forest fire every year and we want to do what we can to prevent it.
Six Foot Smokey Reduced Fire Incidences By 84% In One Year
"The Saga of the Smokey Bear statues on Interstate 5 Between Sacramento and Stockton on the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.... Interstate 5, between Sacramento and Stockton, is a corridor of mainly agricultural land that paints the back drop for people commuting between these two cities. The Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is within this corridor and has seen huge growth and development around its borders. The 2003 fire season had just over 83 fire starts adjacent to the refuge and its boundary. Eleven of these fires were large enough to threaten nearby subdivisions, parks, schools, and other businesses adjacent to refuge property. In the fall of that year, agencies associated with this fire threat called the refuge to see if a meeting could be scheduled to discuss methods of fire prevention. The goal was to reduce the number and severity of these fires. The group, which consisted of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cal Trans, and the Elk Grove Fire Department, came up with the concept of placing Smokey Bear statues along the interstate with fire prevention signs. This idea was further developed as a means of reminding the commuting public of the fire hazard in this area. Prior to the 2004 fire season, local television and radio media were notified that the Smokey statues and prevention signs were in place. This idea proved to be a huge success as the amount of fires in the same area dropped from 83 to 11 fires within one year. Most of all, the commuting public was thrilled with the newest addition to their daily scenery. When the Smokey statues were removed for the winter, many calls came into the refuge asking where the Smokey statues were. As successful as this program has proven to be, Smokey will be back out spreading his message of fire prevention for this coming fire season and into the foreseeable future."
- Gary Pavusko, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service