Friday, June 5, 2020

State fire marshal calls on Bigfoot to promote wildfire prevention

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A Pacific Northwest legend is joining fire prevention activities statewide, particularly in the wildland urban interface and communities at greatest risk of wildfires and property loss.

Starting in June, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal will be promoting wildfire safety education with its partners using images of Bigfoot and the hashtag#BelieveInFireSafety.

“Wildfires can easily be ignited by backyard burning, an unattended campfire, a hot car on tall, dry grass, or from dragging tow chains, and they spread fast,” State Fire Marshal Jim Walker said.

“We hope our Bigfoot campaign will draw attention and create a bigger ‘footprint’ of wildfire prevention efforts around the state,” Walker said. “We want people to believe in fire safety, whether you are camping, visiting Oregon, or recreating. We’ve created images and education materials showing Bigfoot outdoors, protecting his wilderness ‘home.’ By preventing wildfires in Bigfoot’s home, we can help residents protect their homes and our communities.”

Images showing Bigfoot recreating and enjoying Oregon can be found on the OSFM’s web site. Organizations promoting wildfire safety and anyone from the public can download a free colorful Bigfoot poster, mobile phone and desktop wallpaper images, a full suite of colorful social media images, and even an iconic shirt design.

The images show Bigfoot hiking, fly fishing, four-wheeling, and putting out campfires responsibly. Each Bigfoot image promotes a wildfire safety message, and all make for perfect materials to share on social media and other platforms as we head into summer and the 2019 wildfire season.

BEACH FIRES SAFETY REMINDER

North Lincoln Fire & Rescue reminds people to extinguish beach fires with water, not sand. See whether a fire ban is in effect due to weather conditons.

Oregon State Parks campfire safety practices state:

“Beach campfires should be started on open sand, away from driftwood or vegetation. Use water to extinguish your beach fire, not sand. Covering the fire with sand will insulate the coals, keeping them hot enough to burn unsuspecting beachgoers hours or even days later.”

Oregon fire service partners, emergency planners, and other groups who promote wildfire prevention and who work to make their communities safer from wildfire are encouraged to print the materials and share them at events and on their social media pages.

A first batch of messaging Bigfoot coasters and stickers have already been sent to fire service agencies statewide. Based on the overwhelmingly popular response to Bigfoot materials to date, the OSFM anticipates many Oregonians will soon be sharing the message to “believe in fire safety.”

During the summer, the OSFM will hold a social media contest for a Bigfoot T-shirt giveaway and highlight different Bigfoot images each week. Also keep your eyes open later this summer for Bigfoot’s image on highway billboards on popular travel routes in Oregon.

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