Fighting Wildfire with Art
In the early twentieth century, forester George S. Long began organizing fire protection groups and forest officials in the western United States. He proposed the creation of a group dedicated solely to western forestry concerns - primarily the prevention of wild fires. On January 5, 1909, the Western Forestry and Conservation Association was established.
The Association represented public and private forest agencies in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California. One of the WFCAs earliest endeavors was persuading President Taft to call in federal troops to assist in fighting the 1910 fire. In 1910, the Western Forestry and Conservation Association hired forester Edward Tyson Allen to oversee public relations for the group.
After the 1910 fire, Allen helped the Western Forestry and Conservation Association utilize popular illustrators of the day, like Frederick Moladore Spiegle, to promote fire safety. Spiegle was originally from New York City and had studied art in Paris. He primarily painted outdoor and sports related scenes and worked closely with Dan Beard, then head of the Boy Scouts.