Alaska looks to the public to name new fire safety mascot

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Department of Natural Resources has created a new moose mascot in an effort to raise awareness about safe burning and human-caused fires -- and they are looking for the public's help in coming up with a name. The mascot is part of the “Take Time to LEARN Before You Burn” campaign.

The Department of Natural Resources has created a new moose mascot in an effort to raise awareness about safe burning and human caused fires and they are looking for the public's help in coming up with a name. (DNR Photo)

The campaign comes after the Alaska Legislature passed HB355, which updated penalties for burning offenses committed in Alaska. According to fire information officer Tim Mowry, the regulations had not been updated in over 50 years.

The new law allows DNR to issue fines for people violating burning regulations. However, Mowry said that they would rather educate the public than issue fines.

"I mean Smokey the Bear is still around, he's not going anywhere, so this moose could be sort of an ally of his. They can work together to try to reduce human caused fires. The whole essence of this is to reduce human caused fires in Alaska by 10% annually, that's the goal of this program," Mowry said.

With the new mascot, the DNR is looking to the public to help name the moose. They will pick their five favorite submissions and allow the public to vote their favorite in the fall. We went to Pioneer Park to see what people thought the name of the moose should be.

"I kind of like Ricky. Ricky." "That's terrible." "I think it's better than Smokey." "I don't know." "Bob because he made Magic,” said Cable and Audrey (in rapid succession).

"Mike the Moose,” is what sisters Olivia and Vanessa suggested.

"Mr. McKinley the Moose." "Yes,” said Mike, Makayla and Karen.

"Mitchell." "I think it should be Mitchell the moose." "It's Mitchell the moose." "It can be Mitch for short." "Yeah I think kids would get that easily too," according to Macy and Ashlyn

"Moose fire because it has fire." "Moose fire?" "It has fire so Moose Fire," said siblings Mariah and Ethan.

You too can submit a name by emailing dnr.dof.prevention@alaska.gov

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