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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
April 25, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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April 25, 2012

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, April 25, 2012 1B 00GIONAL Sc hool kids help spread Smokey's message Debra Moore Staff Writer Smokey Bear didn't join the children at the Beck- wourth Ranger Station in Portola Saturday morning, but his likeness was every- where. Several C. Roy Carmichael students drew renditions of Smokey -- some skinny, some a. little chubby -- that will appear on fire preven- tion posters to be displayed throughout Eastern Plumas County. Steve Ross, a Forest Service wildfire prevention officer, said this is his sixth year to be involved in the program. "We do this so that our fire prevention message can get out to the schools," Ross said. "If we start with kids and reinforce it every year, hope- fully they will get all of the different messages." Each grade level has a theme. For example, first- graders drew a picture based on the theme "Children don't play with matches or fire." The messages get more so- phisticated with each grade level. The Forest Service program in the elementary School comes in two parts -- first there is a poster contest, and then the fire prevention officers visit the schools with Smokey Bear to present the winners' certificates and teach the children how to help prevent fires. Ross said that natural wildfires will happen, but man-made fires can be Poster winners ' These are the winners of the U.S. Forest Service Plumas National Forest 2012 Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention Con- test held at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School in Portola: First Place: Grade 1: Kylie Litz Grade 2: Hailie Mancilla Grade 3: Annabelle Folchi Grade 4: Natalie Dutton Grade 5: Elizabeth Massey Honorable mention: Grade 2: Kaydence Cokor Grade 4: Aidan Payne Grade 5: Kiley Schneider The entrance to Plumas Eureka off of the Graeagle-Johnsville Road sports some new artwork for the summer, courtesy of C. Roy Carmichael fourth-grader Aidan Payne and the U.S. Forest Service. Photos by Debra Moore prevented. He said the No: 1 cause of man-made fires in Plumas County is escaped debris burns. Poster contests, like the one held at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary, are held through- out the county and soon the colorful posters will be cover- ing snow removal signs from Portola to Chester. When asked how the Forest Service chooses where to place signs, he said it depends on the poster. The simpler posters are placed along the highway where the speed is the fastest. The more intri- cate posters are placed along roadways where the speed is reduced so that it is easier for passersby to read the messages. The original'artwork is drawn on 8-by-16-inch paper supplied by the Forest Ser- vice. The drawings are then enlarged to cover a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood. The stu- dents are instructed to fill the entire sheet of paper and write messages boldly. Students may draw Smokey Bear, but no other cartoon characters are allowed. Each class picks its top His was one of the more detailed drawings and his dad, Aaron Payne, a teacher at Portola High School, helped him finish it. The senior Payne said that his wife, Katie, who is now 36, painted a fire prevention poster.when she was a stu- dent at Portola Elementary : School. It has been a long- three posters and then the standing program in the Forest Service makes the, county. final decision. '  When first-grader Kylie On Saturday, studentsand their families painted the . posters and within a couple of hours the Beckwourth Ranger Station was decorated with colorful reminders to prevent forest fires. Ten-year-old Aidan Payne, a fourth-grader, filled his poster with helicopters dumping water on the forest. Litz started to draw her picture, she said, "I thought in my mind, 'I like Smokey Bear.'" The result is a very cuddly Smokey Bear who reminds children not to play with matches. Many of the posters were erected over the weekend and will remain in place through- out the summer. Students who participated in the Forest Service poster contest drew a picture on paper and the winning entries were then projected onto large sheets of plywood. This is second-grader Hailie Mancilla's winning entry. Ten-year-old Aidan Payn e chose helicopters to highlight his fire prevention poster. Aidan's mother, Katie Payne, painted a poster for the same program when she attended'Portola Elementary School. C. Roy Carmichael third-grader Annabelle Folchi learned how to put out a campfire when she and her family went camping. "You stir it and you put it out, = she said. Kylie Litz, a first-grader at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School in Portola, chose Smokey Bear as her theme because she likes him. Forest Service personnel from the Beckwourth Ranger District spent Saturday afternoon hanging fire prevention signs, in the Graeagle-Blairsden area. The posters will cover snow removal signs through the summer. Kaydence Cokor, a second- grader at C. Roy Carmichael, painted this poster, which will be displayed in Eastern Plumas County.