Firefighters with the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest are getting the word out to area schoolchildren: “Only you can prevent forest fires.” 

During the weeks of October 19 and 26, the North Kaibab fire staff has and will bring Smokey Bear to more than 300 children in Fredonia, Kanab and Colorado City to talk about fire issues during a season that has seen higher rates of visitor-caused fires than previous years. 

“During the fall, we’ve already had more human-caused fires than the last three years combined,” said Fire Prevention Lead Dana Cohen. “I would say that at least half of those fires are from woodcutters who make warming fires.” 

This fall has been unusually dry on the North Kaibab, she said, and the district has less firefighting resources this time of year, making visitor-caused fires a greater issue. 

The firefighters are bringing a fire engine to preschool and grade school classrooms in the three towns to remind the children not to play with matches