In an effort to educate Americans about how to prevent accidental wildfires, Disney is joining the Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) to launch a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs).
The PSAs feature scenes and characters from Disneytoon Studios’ upcoming animated film “Planes: Fire & Rescue.” The ads are an extension of the Wildfire Prevention PSA campaign, featuring the iconic Smokey Bear, who celebrates his 70th birthday this summer.
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.
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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.”
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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.