73. It may not be one of those milestone-like numbers, but it still feels great to have been howlin’ and a prowlin’ for 73 years, reminding you that “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.”
These last few years we’ve all seen how social media can make a huge impact. #TeamSmokey is no different. You’ve tweeted me when you’ve run into me at a state fair or in a parade. You’ve tagged me on Instagram when you’ve seen one of my roadside wildfire prevention signs. And you’ve created a vibrant and growing community on Facebook, always willing to reshare my wildfire prevention tips.
#TeamSmokey spans generations, from old-timers who might’ve seen me in my younger days at the National Zoo, all the way to young, whippersnapper millennials who can emoji faster than my bear paws can for sure. So I wanted to do something special for all of you social media friends this year. Consider it my “birthday present” to all of you.
All month long, I’ve got a bunch of new social media coming your way. New videos, new gifs, new Instagram pics and even a Snapchat lens. All this new stuff will give you plenty to share on your own social channels, in your blogs, in your texts, or just as a way to pass the time at work before you get to head out for a long weekend in nature.
I bet if I asked you how to prevent a wildfire most of you would say to make sure your campfire is doused out cold or to not toss a lit cigarette on the ground in the forest. Those are both true, and there are lots of other ways you humans can help to prevent a wildfire from sparking. Tow chains, BBQ coals, burning yard debris, parking on tall dry grass, hot ashes, fireworks – all of these and many other small things that you wouldn’t necessarily think about first can accidentally spark a wildfire.
So, I need your help. I’m asking you to tweet, tag, post, snap, blog, text and share all of these new “birthday presents” with your friends. I’d love to see #TeamSmokey grow to the point where everyone knows that they have the power and the know-how to prevent a wildfire and help my firefighting friends on the front-lines too.
That’s right friends, I need you. #TeamSmokey needs you… #OnlyYou.