“Remember… Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”

The sound of Smokey Bear’s voice declaring this memorable message of fire prevention still conjures a sense of responsibility in me. Can you hear it? Visualize his furry finger pointing right at YOU? The wildfire prevention campaign began in 1944 and is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history (and is based on a real-life bear)!

Thanks to Smokey, we all know the devastation that fire can bring to any natural area. But, did you know that prescribed fire is an important part of maintaining diverse and healthy ecosystems? Believe it or not, they’re a tool we use right here in Mecklenburg County and I got to tag along for one at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.

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