Home Local & Regional News Smokey Bear Takes Preschoolers on a Tour of Chester Helibase

Smokey Bear Takes Preschoolers on a Tour of Chester Helibase


Fire safety was the core message Smokey Bear and several of his helpers recently impressed upon the students of SPICE Preschool.

During the last week of September, a team of Lassen National Forest employees from Lassen Engine 16, Helicopter 510, and Chester Airbase, welcomed the preschoolers for a visit to learn about some key fire safety messages, including:

  • Safe vs. dangerous uses for fire
  • How to safely get out of your house or school if there is a fire
  • Ways to keep others and yourself safe around fire
  • What first responders look like in fire safety gear (so you won’t be afraid if they come to help you)
  • If your house is on fire, the importance of getting and staying outside and meeting with family at a designated location
  • Calling 911 for fire and other emergencies

The 60-minute fire prevention program involved a walk around an Air Attack plane while the pilots talked about how it is used to fight fire, and a tour of Helicopter 510, which is used for transporting fire crews, bucket water drops, and reconnaissance.

The children got a chance to sit in the back seat of the helicopter, try on helmets and buckle in.

Photo of SPICE preschoolers during Chester Airbase visit ~ Forest Service photo

The preschoolers also got a look inside the Chester Airbase radio operations center and participated in a show-and-tell of a Forest Service fire engine, complete with lights, sirens, and turns spraying water. To top off the experience, Smokey Bear dropped in for an appearance!

SPICE Preschool Director Connie Higgins was pleased to have the children interact with the Forest Service fire safety personnel. “The purpose of this week was to help kids understand it is their responsibility to be careful with fire,” said Higgins.

For more information about fire safety programs, please contact Melissa Hennessey, Prevention Officer on the Almanor Ranger District, at 530-258-2141.



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