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Wildland fires can be catastrophic for forests but also for homeowners and their property.  Fires are often caused by natural factors, but by far, the largest cause of wildfires is man-related.  Learning about wildfire prevention and what you can do to help will reduce the number of fires.  Preventing forest fires is everyone’s responsibility!  The Northeast Forest Fire Protection Commission's Prevention and Education Working Team (PEWT) offers several ways to take part.  See the Prevention section for more information.



HOT SPOT 

Wildfire Awareness Week Events in Maine

Traditionally, the last two weeks of April show an increase in human- caused wildfires. That is because thousands of people are outside and cleaning up their yards. They start with good intentions of burning branches and wood debris that has fallen over the winter, but often get careless and allow the fire to escape.  As in the past, Governor Mills signed a proclamation that designated April 17 – 23, 2022 as “Wildfire Awareness Week.” That week also coincides with April break for the schools, which means more children will be outside.


To kick off the week, we set up the Compact PWT’s inflatable Smokey near the start of the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, just 15 minutes west of Bangor. Smokey attracted a lot of people and before the kids were given free Smokey Bear items, they were asked to read “Smokey’s Five Rules” near the back of my truck. The posters have been laminated and fastened to plywood and fit well between the truck cap and the tailgate.

Then, a few days later, we had the honor of presenting a plaque to the Sanford, ME Fire Chief. The plaque was for Corydon Goodwin, who perished on a 2800 acre wildfire in Sanford back in 1953 and wasn’t formally recognized. Several newspaper accounts mentioned that Deputy Forest Commissioner Austin Wilkins said Firefighter Goodwin was the first known line of duty death on a forest fire in Maine. It’s hard to believe that no firefighters were killed during Maine’s infamous 1947 fires. During the ceremony, we reminded the crowd of about 40 people that devastating wildfires have occurred in Maine in the past and could easily happen in the future.  We then took a few minutes to discuss a 314 acre fire that occurred on May 4, 2018 in nearby Kennebunk. If the wind hadn’t died down on that fire, it could have burned dozens of houses.




Times have Changed,
the Message Remains the Same 2.0

While cleaning out old files from our storage area at the Provincial Fire Centre in New Brunswick, a binder from 1958 with a collection of 63 fire prevention posters was rediscovered. Back by popular demand after the popularity of the first edition, here are a few more samples of the 60-year-old posters.

New Brunswick

Nova Scotia

Quebec

Newfoundland

Saskatchewan

Alberta

Ontario

USA