Fire Prevention Nebraska Style
Happy Belated Birthday Smokey Bear! Yes, Smokey Bear celebrated his 78th Birthday on August 9th. We must continue to share Smokey’s important message to Prevent Wildfires with friends, family and patrons of our fire districts. The legend of Smokey Bear continues to be represented and promoted in a variety of ways. Do you happen to have a Smokey Bear storybook, possibly a stuffed Smokey Bear? There are clocks, mugs, puzzles, pictures and more that reflect his image and the reminder of his important message.
The NSVFA E-Board and Fire School Committee met over a weekend in August at Chadron State Park for business and budget meetings. With some free time on Friday, Joel and I and several of our fire family friends Brenda Jenny, Shad Bryner, Kenny and LeAnn Krause and Justin Scamehorn, took a little road trip and we had the opportunity to visit the world’s largest wooden carving of Smokey Bear, which is 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide in Hills City, SD. I am still amazed that in the many years I have served in the fire service and enjoyed being a Smokey Bear fan, I had not heard of this attraction until the night of an East Central Nebraska Fire Prevention Co-op meeting in North Bend where Fire Chief Waylon Fischer shared the information with me and I would like to thank him so much.
History tells us that 25 students from Hills City High School helped battle a wildfire back in 1939. Because of that, the US Forest Service awarded them recognition of being the only school in the nation with Smokey Bear as their mascot. The carving located in Hills City not only honors the city’s history but also reminds people to do their part to prevent wildfires.
Hills City is located 27 miles from Rapid City, SD and if you ever happen to be in the area please stop by for a photo op with Smokey.
NSVFA Fire Prevention Team