SHADY HILLS — Schoolchildren who visit Pasco Safety Town now will get a chance to learn how to prevent forest fires.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office unveiled Friday morning a new interactive exhibit at Safety Town called Smokey’s Cabin, where children will learn Smokey Bear’s five rules for wildfire prevention. Those rules: Only you can prevent forest fires; always be careful with fire; never play with lighters or matches; always watch your campfire; and make sure your campfire is completely out before leaving it.
Inside, the cabin is decorated with a life-size Smokey, wildfire gear, pictures of Smokey and a television that will play “Smokey’s Story.” Outside is a small campfire ring and a picnic table and benches.
Smokey’s Cabin came about after Pasco Safety Town and the Florida Forest Service announced in 2013 they were teaming up to create a new safety station at the mock town on State Road 52 just west of the Suncoast Parkway.
The cabin was built from an old recreational vehicle by the Pasco County school district’s maintenance department.
Safety Town is a miniature faux community where schoolchildren from across the county come on field trips to learn about seatbelt, bicycle, water and animal safety, among many other injury-avoiding lessons. About 6,000 children visit each year.