Ashley Melvin, the Delaware Forest Service’s education specialist who directs its successful Smokey Bear fire prevention program, received a Gold Smokey Award in Ohio recently at an annual meeting of state foresters. The award was presented to the Mid-Atlantic Interstate Forest Fire Protection Compact’s education committee, of which Delaware is a member. The compact is comprised of seven states including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
In the world of wildfire prevention, there is no greater honor than to receive a Smokey Bear award, especially the national Gold Smokey award. These special awards are reserved for people or organizations that provide sustained, outstanding service, with significant program impact, in the wildfire prevention arena. Honorees demonstrate innovation, creativity, commitment and passion for wildfire prevention.
Smokey Bear will be back in Delaware schools starting this October, visiting first-graders throughout the First State to remind children that “only you can prevent wildfires.” The second week of October is National Fire Prevention Week, observed annually in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Smokey Bear has become one of the Delaware Forest Service’s most successful educational programs. In the past two years, the DFS provided an average of 90 Smokey Bear fire education programs to about 8,250 students per year — representing almost 75% of the first-graders in the entire state.
Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history.
To honor October as “Fire Prevention Month,” Smokey Bear will visit Delaware schools to teach children that “only you can prevent wildfires.” Nationwide fire data continue to show that human activity causes the largest number of forest fires, which is why Smokey teaches children at a very early age that they should never play with fire or use matches. Last year, the Delaware Forest Service provided 104 fire education programs to 9,410 students – a record number of school programs for the agency.
To honor October as “Fire Prevention Month,” Smokey Bear will visit over 90 Delaware schools to teach children that “only you can prevent wildfires.”
Ashley Peebles, trainer-educator for the Delaware Forest Service, oversees the annual Smokey Bear program, which reached almost 8,000 children last year. 2014 marks the 70th Anniversary of Smokey Bear’s introduction in 1944, which has evolved into the longest running public service campaign in U.S. history.
535 kindergarten students at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center in Magnolia learned fire safety from Smokey Bear as part of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual education program. Located in the Caesar Rodney School District, McIlvaine is the largest kindergarten program in the First State.