Forest Fire Control Prevention Programs

Learn how to prevent forest fires in your community
Forest Fire Control at the Big E
Forest Fire Control at the Big E

Forest Fire Prevention programs were introduced in Barnstable County in 1926.  By 1929, the cost of fighting fires was reduced 80% thanks to new education programs.  Today, Forest Fire Control continues to provide education opportunities to your community to increase public awareness about the hazards of forest fires and the practical steps you can take to reduce the threat in your community.

Prescribed Fires

One of the most critical tools to prevent forest fires are the planned, controlled burns, also called prescribed fires.  Prescribed fires allow the reduction of high risk fuels within forested areas under controlled circumstances.  Other fuel reduction opportunities include the creation and maintenance of fire breaks and water holes.

Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear and friends
Smokey Bear and friends

Forest Fire Control offers many varied tools and methods to spread the message of preventing forest fires including being the guardian of the nation’s symbol of fire prevention – Smokey Bear.  Under the auspices of the U.S. Forest Service, DCR Forest Fire Control sponsors Smokey’s appearance at schools, fairs, education programs and parades throughout Massachusetts.

Smokey Bear program focuses on key issues such as:

  • Prevent unwanted human caused fires
  • Practice fire safety habits and step in when others act carelessly
  • Take personal responsibility for fire safety


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Smokey Bear Wildfire Danger Rating Sign Program and Other Wildland Fire Prevention Signage

All Massachusetts Fire Departments can purchase Smokey Bear Wildfire Danger rating signs and magnetic vehicle signs that will help keep your residents aware of the daily wildfire danger potential. Posting at your fire department or in a highly visible spot or where the public can pick up their open burn permit will increase community awareness and caution.

Other wildland fire prevention signage can be purchased for town/city forested areas. Set up fees for signs courtesy of the DCR.  VFA Grant Eligible!

For more information, please contact DCR Forest Fire Control Program Coordinator at 413-538-9092 extension 400

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Other Educational Opportunities

Beyond the Smokey Bear program, Forest Fire Control program manages forest fire observation towers, one of the last operational systems in the United States. This successful observation system has also been converted into new mobile fire observation cabin model.

There is also the program’s 45 foot prevention trailer that offers forest fire fighting demonstrations using modern equipment as well as ongoing training of other agency and local fire fighters.

Additional Resources for

Contact the Forest Fire Control District Wardens

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