Wildfire risk takes center stage in Ad Council's new public land PSA

Experts voice a number of concerns about the sudden influx of people to national parks.

As public land slowly reopens amid a slowdown of COVID-19 spread, one risk sits at the forefront of some: Wildfires. 

The USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council have unveiled a new PSA to help Americans recreate safely and responsibly outdoors. 

"We want to welcome people back to their public lands, and we want it to be a safe experience for everyone," said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. "This partnership with the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council will help educate millions of Americans on simple steps they can take to prevent human-caused wildfires and enjoy the peace and solace while recreating outdoors."

The new drive will encourage viewers to visit BeOutdoorSafe.org for additional safe recreation resources, including tips to consider before taking a trip outside – like checking for park and trail closures, packing soap or hand sanitizer and confirming that the destination park or trail offers enough space for social distancing. 

"We know that the great outdoors can do wonders for our physical and mental health, so it’s not surprising that families across the country are spending time outside during these challenging times," said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer at the Ad Council. 

"With so many issues weighing on peoples’ minds right now, we can’t forget this important message: we all have an important role to play when it comes to keeping our safe places safe. We need to work together to act responsibly when spending time outside and continue to do our part to help prevent wildfires."

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