Smokey the Bear's 70th birthday has come and the U.S. Forest Service hopes you go into the woods with safety and planning in mind.
Manistee National Forest spokeswoman Kate Salm told WOOD Radio Thursday's fire danger assessments are moderate to high across their area and it's likely to be dry till the close of the Memorial Day weekend. Those with cabins who plan to burn debris need to check Michigan DNR's website to get a permit. "Keep water handy when you do have any type of fire, if it does start getting away from you you have a way to put it out."
Salm said cell phone service can be spotty in some parts of the Manistee National Forest so they appreciate any information when smoke or flames appear. "If you see a fire escaping, don't assume anyone else has called. Call 9-1-1 and let them know where you are, where you see the fire."
For generations, Smokey the Bear has been the icon for public service announcements that remind the public to focus on safety in the outdoors. Salm said it's still a valuable message as "Smokey's still out there promoting the need to work together and be careful with fires."
(Smokey Bear graphic courtesy U.S. Forest Service)