In an effort to educate the public on how to prevent accidental wildfires, Disney announced today that they are joining the Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters to launch a new series of public service advertisements that will feature scenes and characters from Disneytoon Studios’ upcoming animated film Planes: Fire & Rescue
. The PSAs are an extension of the Wildfire Prevention PSA campaign, featuring the iconic Smokey Bear, who celebrates his 70th birthday this summer. You can check out an initial awareness poster below.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, over the past 13 years, an annual average of 6.7 million acres have been burned by wildfire. The most common sources of human-caused wildfires are campfires left unattended, debris burning on windy days, careless discarding of smoking materials and BBQ coals, and operating equipment without spark arrestors. Nine out of ten wildfires nationwide are caused by humans, yet many can be prevented by taking simple steps to properly put out a campfire.
“When we decided to make ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue,’ our team of filmmakers made several research trips to meet the brave men and women whose job it is to fight wildfires,” says Bobs Gannaway, “Planes: Fire & Rescue” director. “Those research trips changed us and forever impressed upon us the importance of wildfire prevention. To have our character, Dusty, take part in the legendary Smokey Bear’s campaign to prevent wildfires and encourage safe outdoor fire practices is one of the highest honors we could have.”
Created pro bono by Disney, the new English and Spanish television, out of home, digital and radio PSAs feature leading characters from the film, including air racer-turned-fire-fighting plane Dusty, spirited air tanker Dipper, veteran fire-and-rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and loving tourists Harvey and Winnie. The PSAs encourage audiences to be “Smokey’s Wingman” and do their part in preventing wildfires. The ads teach audiences the proper steps of extinguishing a campfire: drown the fire, stir it, drown it again and feel that the fire is out cold.
“We are excited to have characters of ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ serve as ambassadors of Smokey's wildfire prevention message," said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "In teaching people campfire safety tips, these PSAs will further the message of wildfire prevention to a broad audience."
“These PSAs are a wonderful extension of our longest running campaign and one of the most successful public service campaigns in history,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “I’m confident that both the media and the public will embrace these ads and help continue to spread Smokey’s important wildfire prevention message.”
The PSAs encourage audiences to visit SmokeyBear.com
for more safety tips and information on Smokey Bear and the Wildfire Prevention campaign. The website also features an interactive real-time wildfire map and a gallery of historic Smokey Bear ads over the last seven decades.
Click on the image below for a larger version: