SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal’s Bigfoot: Believe in Fire Safety campaign, asking Oregonians to protect their communities by preventing wildfires, has expanded for the 2020 fire season, collaborating with fire agency partners.
Now in its second season, the OSFM’s popular messenger, Bigfoot, continues to be seen on highway billboards, entrances to campgrounds, on beaches, in Oregon airports, on Portland metro-area buses and on social media shared by residents, visitors, businesses and fire agencies.
“Fire prevention education plays a critical role in reducing the impact of human-caused wildfires in Oregon, particularly in areas at the highest risk — the wildland urban interface,” says Claire McGrew, assistant chief deputy.
“Our campaign began in 2019. Because of its appeal to many Oregonians and visitors, our office expanded it for 2020. Bigfoot is an icon beloved by many Oregonians, and firefighting and resource management agencies have enthusiastically welcomed the region’s new friend in wildfire prevention.”
To reduce the number of incidents for the 2020 fire season, OSFM pushed out its “Bigfoot in box” media kits to more than 140 fire agency partners statewide. These included Bigfoot stickers; pop-up Bigfoot displays; and information on yard debris removal, campfire safety, recreational vehicles and wildfire prevention — all to support ongoing community-based prevention education.
On its website, the OSFM is sharing more than 20 new and downloadable images for 2020, showing Bigfoot responsibly extinguishing campfires, clearing defensible space and recreating in familiar Oregon natural areas. Messages for July focus on campfire safety, fire risks from motor vehicles, outdoor grilling and more.
Bigfoot billboards encouraging travelers to “protect your community” and “prevent wildfires” can be seen on Interstate 5 in southern Oregon, on Interstate 84 in Portland, on State Highway 97 near Bend and State Highways 20/26 at 101, near Cairo. The sign near Cairo is now in its second year, through a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.
The U.S. Forest Service office based in Prineville is displaying the OSFM’s mobile Bigfoot billboard at various locations in Central Oregon. In the Portland metro region, the OSFM has teamed up with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, which placed a Bigfoot image on Metro buses in its service area with the tagline, “What do we say to wildfire...not today.” Clackamas Fire District No. 1 has used outdoor Bigfoot images throughout the county.
On the Oregon coast, North Lincoln Fire & Rescue placed Bigfoot on stickers affixed to beach buckets, as part of its efforts to reduce injuries from beach campfires and to remind tourists to put out their campfires. The Corvallis Fire Department turned the Bigfoot stand-up character into a larger than life cardboard pop-up that is being moved around town for fire prevention education efforts all summer.
The Sublimity Rural Fire Protection District’s volunteer firefighters are wearing Bigfoot T-shirts saying “believe in fire safety” to help spread the word about fire safety and prevention.
Bigfoot images can also be found in Portland International Airport (check the baggage terminal area to do a selfie) and the Redmond and Eugene airports.
The OSFM continues to encourage Oregonians to share Bigfoot’s message to “believe in fire safety” with the hashtag #BelieveInFireSafety.
To learn more about wildfire prevention and preparedness, or to find and download your favorite Bigfoot image and spread the word, visit the OSFM website. You can also follow the OSFM and Bigfoot on the OSFM Facebook and Twitter pages.