Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

Smokey Bear celebrates his 65th birthday with brand new junior firefighters at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.

Smokey Bear Celebrates his Birthday at Whiskeytown Junior Firefighter Program

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, California

Smokey Bear made a special appearance on August 9, 2009 to celebrate his sixty-fifth birthday at the Whiskeytown Junior Firefighter program. Temperatures were close to one hundred degrees as over 50 kids and their parents wished the prevention mascot a happy birthday. Smokey Bear assisted the Whiskeytown Fire Engine Module in teaching kids to be safe with fire and to learn about the role firefighters play in wildland fire. Kids tried on firefighter packs, climbed in fire shelters, tried on nomex clothing, dug fireline and ate an MRE. The highlight was squirting water from the engine, with Smokey Bear.

The Whiskeytown Junior Firefighter program is part of the National Park Service Junior Ranger program. Children between the ages of seven and twelve attend the weekly program during the summer months. The goal of the program is to increase awareness and understanding of the role of fire, and how firefighters contribute by protecting property, lives and ensure forest health for the future. Kids learn what it takes to put fires out and discover why some fires benefit the forest.

Contact: Carol Jandrall, Fire Communication and Education Specialist
Phone: (530) 242-3438