FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2011
DNR firefighters receive national recognition
Smokey Bear honors wildfire prevention projects
OLYMPIA – At the Colville Wildfire Team training on May 11, two foresters from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received the National Smokey Bear award. Ray Kresek, curator and author, received a 2011 Silver Smokey Bear Award, and John Foster Fanning, DNR Fire Control Forester, received a 2011 Bronze Smokey Bear Award.
The National Smokey Bear awards are presented annually by the Ad Council, the National Association of State Foresters, and the U. S. Forest Service to individuals for sustained excellence in wildland fire prevention.
The Silver Award recognizes performance of a multi-state significance. Ray Kresek, recipient of the Silver Award, authored a book, Fire Lookouts of the Northwest, which preserves and shares the history of the fire lookout system. The revenue generated from his book goes back into supporting the Fire Lookout Museum which also hosts a Smokey memorabilia collection. A retiree of the Spokane Fire Department, Ray also is the curator for the Fire Lookout Museum in Spokane. Visit the website at www.firelookouts.com .
The Bronze Award recognizes performance of statewide significance. John Foster Fanning, the recipient of the Bronze Award, has been instrumental in preventing wildfires for Washington. He created several prevention campaigns in his region. Outdoor burning has been the No. 1 human cause of wildfires, and John has shown leadership in reducing those numbers in the Okanogan area.
“Ray Kresek and John Foster Fanning have provided many years of exceptional service to the cause of forest fire prevention in Washington State,” said State Forester Aaron Everett. “Their leadership has brought forward more awareness to wildfire prevention and made a measurable impact in reducing the number wildfires in Washington.”
For more information on Smokey Bear, log on to www.smokeybear.com .
DNR’s wildfire mission
Administered by Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR is responsible for preventing and fighting wildfires on 12.7 million acres of private, state and tribal-owned forestlands. DNR is the state’s largest on-call fire department, with over 1,000 employees trained and available to be dispatched to fires as needed. During fire season, this includes over 700 DNR employees who have other permanent jobs with the agency and about 375 seasonal workers. Additionally, Department of Correction inmates participate in the DNR correctional camps program. DNR also participates in Washington’s coordinated interagency approach to firefighting.
Media Contact: Janet Pearce, Community Outreach and Environmental Education, 360-902-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org
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