Amber Athey | Media and Breaking Information Editor

BuzzFeed Information issued a correction Tuesday on an article that contained false details about the wildfire prevention marketing campaign promoted by the fictional character “Smokey Bear.”

Regardless of Smokey’s common slogan, “Solely YOU can forestall forest fires,” BuzzFeed Information’ article inaccurately characterised Smokey Bear’s marketing campaign as one in every of “fireplace suppression” somewhat than “fireplace prevention.”

BuzzFeed Information tweeted an excerpt from the article, writing, “Most specialists now agree {that a} decades-long coverage of suppressing fires in forests, a marketing campaign fronted by Smokey Bear, was a foul concept.”

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BuzzFeed Information deleted its tweet and defined the error, including with shock, “And sure, his title is definitely Smokey Bear.”

The publication additionally added a correction on the article.

BuzzFeed News Corrects Smokey Bear Reference (Screenshot: November 21, 2018)

(Screenshot: November 21, 2018)

Smokey Bear made his first look in 1944 as a part of an commercial marketing campaign with the U.S. Forest Service geared toward stopping wildfires. The advertisements warn people who their habits, comparable to failing to place out campfires or improperly discarding matches, may cause forest fires.

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Alternatively, wildfire suppression refers to efforts to suppress any fires as soon as they begin burning. As BuzzFeed defined, scientists now warn that sure areas have to burn often to be able to skinny out vegetation and promote biodiversity.

Whereas the U.S. Forest Service did follow full fireplace suppression, Smokey Bear was solely ever used to advertise fireplace prevention efforts.

Right here is the Forest Service’s present suppression coverage:

Once we see a wildfire, our first response is to place it out. For many years, the Forest Service has executed simply that when it got here to wildland fires. However science has modified the best way we take into consideration wildland fireplace and the best way we handle it. We nonetheless suppress fires, particularly in the event that they threaten individuals and communities, however we perceive that fireplace has a job in nature – one that may result in wholesome ecosystems. So we search for methods to handle it to play its function, as an example, by igniting prescribed fires.

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