Story by Jennifer Myslivy, Public Affairs Specialist. Photos by Kelsey Griffee, State Fire Mitigation and Education Specialist.
On average, humans cause 80% of all wildland fires on Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-managed lands. These wildfires threaten people, homes, and precious natural resources. Firefighters risk their lives to suppress these preventable incidents. To thwart these damaging human-caused wildfires, BLM Nevada, Utah, and Idaho have partnered with Maverik — Adventure’s First Stop, a convenience store brand operating 382 locations across 12 western states. Maverick and BLM work to educate the public about how they can avoid starting these incidents.
“We’ve found that many wildfires started by trailer chains, ATVs and other recreation activities can be prevented with just a few simple precautions, and people can learn about them as they are preparing to recreate on public lands,” says BLM Nevada State Director Jon Raby. “The BLM created this partnership with Maverik because their convenience stores are a frequent stop before people head out to recreate throughout the West.”
The partnership, which began in May to coincide with Wildfire Awareness Month, focuses on providing simple, yet effective education tools for public lands users, which they see as they stop at Maverik stores right before departing for their next public lands adventure. Public Service Announcements (PSA) play on fuel pumps and monitors inside the Maverik stores. Additionally, if patrons purchase a firewood bundle, a set of campfire safety tips is included with each bundle. Messaging also runs across BLM and Maverik’s social media channels.
PSA filming took place on the Southern Nevada District in March and captured the beauty of the Mojave Desert and unique geology of BLM-managed lands near Las Vegas. The videos have a western motif that educates the public about the fire risks of dragging trailer chains, off-road driving and target shooting.
Check out the “Spark Safety, Not Wildfires” campaign on the NIFC.gov webpage here. The campaign launched May 11 at a Maverik store in Reno, Nevada. Interagency partners attended the media event, emphasizing the role everyone has to play in wildfire prevention.
Through interagency, corporate, and public partnerships, we can prevent future catastrophic wildfires.
“With 11 million inside transactions a month and nearly 7 million at our fuel pumps, we’re sure to reach millions of customers with our Spark Safety, Not Wildfires message as they’re heading out on their next favorite adventure,” said Chuck Maggelet, President and Chief Adventure Guide at Maverik. “As Adventure’s First Stop, Maverik focuses on encouraging healthy outdoor activities and there’s no better way to do that than protecting our precious lands.”
Over the next three years, the Spark Safety, Not Wildfires campaign will focus on the most frequent human-caused wildfire ignitions and how they can be prevented, with the overall goal of reducing these costly disasters. Stay tuned for these fun, informative PSAs to arrive at a Maverik store near you!