State of Michigan

05/26/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/26/2020 17:02

DNR News - Week of May 25, 2020: Virtual meeting scenes, 'Flat Smokey' fire safety, Kal-Haven trail app

With warmer temperatures and increased fire danger, the DNR is getting a little help from a familiar face to boost the public's fire safety smarts: Smokey Bear. But the department is sharing the 75-year-old icon in a new way - Flat Smokey!

Flat Smokey is inspired by the 'Flat Stanley' children's book series. In the books, a young boy is squashed flat by a falling bulletin board while sleeping, but he makes the best of his flatness and enjoys new adventures that include sliding under doors, flying as a kite and traveling cross-country in an envelope to visit friends.

Kids can experience Smokey in a different way, too. They can download the Flat Smokey template, print it on stiff paper like cardstock (or paste onto cardboard) and color. Take pictures and videos of family and friends practicing fire safety with cookouts, campfires, fireworks and more, and then share using the hashtags #FlatSmokey and #PreventWildfires. Share the fire safety fun by sending Flat Smokey in the mail to someone else.

Nine out of 10 wildfires in Michigan are caused by people. Taking simple precautions and using effective fire safety practices can save lives and protect property, wildlife and the environment. When burning, always have a water source, shovel and metal bucket nearby, never leave a fire unattended, and always thoroughly douse a fire until it is extinguished.

Get fire safety tips at or contact Rachel Coale at 517-284-7269.