• During World War II, many of the Bureau's fire towers served a dual duty as enemy aircraft spotting stations.
  • The 1949 Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Commission became the first international agreement to cover forest fires when Quebec signed on in 1969.
  • The May 8, 1957 Plymouth Fire scorched over 15,000 acres and had a ten mile front or head.
  • A U.S. Forest Service study found that Barnstable and Plymouth counties, with their sandy soil, drying winds and fuel type are more fire prone than fire ravaged Southern California.
  • Over 98% of forest fires in Massachusetts are caused by human carelessness, (improperly disposed of cigarettes, vandalism, neglected permit fires, etc.).
  • Brush Breakers, which can easily drive over small trees, were developed in Barnstable County in the 1930's.
  • Smokey Bear was created of the nation's need to protect her forested resources and enable the war effort in 1944.

Why protection from forest fires is important:

  • The value of forest resources...wood, water, wildlife and recreation, has skyrocketed in Massachusetts.
  • More people are building homes in forest environments.
  • Forests protect soils and watersheds, improve air quality, reduce noise and pollution and provide us with numerous amenities which improve the quality of life.
  • Wildlife is dependent on forests and open space for food and shelter.
  • The planting of trees and management of our forest resources is cited as one possible cure to global warming.
  • Many citizens enjoy the state's outdoors by fishing, camping, hunting, hiking and many other forms of recreation.