Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Wildfires can cause major environmental, social and economic damages. The loss of timber, wildlife habitat, homes and even lives may result from a devastating wildfire. The wildfire that does not start is the one that does not have to be fought.
Prevention is the key in helping to reduce the number of human caused fires- one of the most important goals for the Florida Forest Service. Even though Florida is the lightning capital of the world, arson and escaped debris burning are still the two main causes of wildfires in Florida.
Florida’s fire dependent ecosystems and year round fire season pose a challenge to wildland fire fighters in their attempt to continually educate Floridians and visitors about wildfire danger in Florida. The Florida Forest Service has several education and mitigation programs aimed at reducing all types of human caused fire.
Firewise Communities: Protecting Your Home from Wildfire
Increasingly, Florida homes intermingle with forests and wildlands.
Arson Alert Hotline (1-800-342-5869)
The Florida Forestry Arson Alert Association offers rewards for information leading to the apprehension of an arsonist. Join the FFAAA and support this valuable organization.
Field Unit Prevention Activities
Field Unit fire prevention committees play an important role in helping to reduce human caused fires in their area. They set up fire prevention programs for local schools and groups, attend parades and other events and monitor the local fire danger levels for their area. Contact your local Wildfire Mitigation Specialist about fire prevention programs.
Wildfire Prevention Clowns
The Florida Forest Service Wildfire Prevention Clown program is the only one of its kind in wildland fire. The prevention clowns teach children about the dangers of wildfire, not to play with matches and how to stay safe. They accomplish this through wildfire skits, magic programs and just talking to them about fire. Kids relate very well to the clowns and their message, remembering it for a long time. Every year at the Florida State Fair, children come by the Florida Forest Discovery Center looking for their favorite clown. The clowns also accompany Smokey Bear to many programs. Since Smokey can’t talk, the clowns do a very good job of explaining Smokey’s message to the children.
Smokey Bear Programs
Visit the national website for Smokey Bear.
Contact your local Florida Forest Service office if you would like for Smokey Bear or the Wildfire Prevention Clowns to visit your school.