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Fighting fires, rescuing tiny animals sometimes part of a day’s work on the fireline

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Arriving in Washington, DC, the little hotfoot victim was greeted by a pouring rain, Lyle F. Watts, Chief of the Forest Service (center) and Stanlee Ann Miller of Albuquerque. N.M., who represented the school children of her state. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Arriving in Washington, DC, the little hotfoot victim was greeted by a
pouring rain, Lyle F. Watts, Chief of the Forest Service (center) and
Stanlee Ann Miller of Albuquerque. N.M., who represented the school
children of her state. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Posted by Kathryn Sosbe, Office of Communication


Smokey Bear, Chips the Bobcat and baby screech owls Puff and Fluff all have something in common: they were rescued during fires managed by the U.S. Forest Service and all entered our hearts in some fashion.



Smokey Bear

 

Smokey Bear, the most infamous of the group, began his life in 1950 – six years after the national wildfire prevention campaign started – on the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico.

Learn more about Smokey’s rescue.

 

 

 

 

Chips’ savior - Mad River Hand Crew superintendent, Tad Hair. )US Forest Service photo)

Chips’ savior - Mad River Hand Crew superintendent,
Tad Hair. (US Forest Service photo)

Chips the Bobcat

 

Chips the bobcat was only four weeks old when she was rescued in August 2012 by Forest Service firefighter Tad Hair and his Mad River Hand hotshot crew fighting the Chips Fire (hence the name) burning on the Plumas and Lassen National Forests in Northern California. Learn more about the rescue of Chips.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Gauthier, a firefighter with Stanislaus National Forest Engine 12, holds two baby owls that fell out of a tree during the Carstens Fire on the Sierra National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Nick Gauthier, a firefighter with Stanislaus National
Forest Engine 12, holds two baby owls that fell out
of a tree during the Carstens Fire on the Sierra
National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

 

 

 

 

Puff and Fluff

 

Alone, frightened and injured, two baby Western screech owls huddled in their abandoned nest as flames from the fire approached. Then, without warning, they crashed to the ground as firefighters worked to contain the quickly-spreading fire by cutting down the tree that had served as their home. Too young to fly, the baby owls tumbled to the ground and onto a roadway. Learn more about the rescued owls.

 

 

 

The Forest Service cautions all visitors to not interfere with nature. Leave injured animals, including young ones, alone. Often, an injured cub or other small animal has a mother nearby waiting for you to leave – or attack you if you don’t.
The discovery of Smokey Bear, Chips and Puff and Fluff are all reminders that these are unique cases. The Forest Service reminds visitors:

  • Report injured wildlife to your state fish and wildlife department or the local sheriff’s office.
  • You are responsible for your safety and the safety of those around you. Help keep wildlife “wild” by not approaching or feeding them.
  • Alter your route so that you move away from animals without disturbing them. Do not block an animal’s line of travel.
  • Also, be aware of safety tips when dealing with animals that will attack if provoked, such as bears and mountain lions.

 

US Forest Service
Last modified August 29, 2013
http://www.fs.fed.us

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